Philippe Coutinho celebrates with team mates after scoring the second goal for Liverpool - Action Images via Reuters
Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure scores their second goal from the penalty spot Action Images via Reuters
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho - Reuters
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Mamadou Sakho at the end of the match - Reuters
Jose Mourinho’s future as Chelsea manager looked increasingly insecure after a 3-1 defeat by Liverpool on Saturday, Philippe Coutinho scoring twice at Stamford Bridge as the champions lost a sixth Premier League game in 11.
Chelsea’s third home league reverse of the season left them in 15th place in the table with 11 points from 11 games - the worst ever start to a season by the reigning champions.
They are already 14 points behind Manchester City who needed a last-gasp Yaya Toure penalty to beat Norwich City 2-1 and retain top spot on goal difference from Arsenal who won 3-0 at Swansea.
Toure’s spot kick spared the blushes of City keeper Joe Hart who fumbled a routine catch to gift Norwich a late equaliser.
All Arsenal’s goals came after the break as they made it five league wins in succession - Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Joel Campbell all on target.
Leicester City are up to third thanks to a 3-2 victory at West Bromwich Albion where they trailed, with Jamie Vardy scoring for the eighth league match in a row.
Manchester United dropped to fourth after a 0-0 stalemate at Crystal Palace, their second successive goalless league draw.
Chelsea, labouring in the Champions League, out of the League Cup and as good as finished in the title race, are in free fall and Liverpool’s fans, celebrating a first league win for new manager Juergen Klopp, taunted Mourinho with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning”.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin summed up the mood, saying: “The questions over Mourinho will be a cacophony now.
“It’s not just the defeat but the manner of it. They were absolutely outplayed,” he added on BBC radio.
Triple Premier League winner Mourinho was tight-lipped afterwards, but asked if it could have been his last game in charge, he said: “No”.
The day had started so well for Chelsea.
There were only four minutes on the clock when Cesar Azpilicueta’s was headed in by Ramires.
If the home fans expected Chelsea to force home their advantage, though, they were disappointed as a hard-working Liverpool side recovered to dominate possession.
Coutinho equalised two minutes and 40 seconds into the indicated two minutes of first-half stoppage time, curling a precise shot past Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic.
Liverpool midfielder Lucas was lucky to avoid a second yellow card midway through the second half for a foul on Ramires - a decision that infuriated Mourinho.
To rub salt into the wounds, Liverpool went in front a few minutes later when Coutinho again beat Begovic with a shot that brushed off John Terry, captaining Chelsea for the 550th time.
Christian Benteke made the points safe with a low shot seven minutes from time.
“What happened in the second half was a consequence of crucial moments, moments that the stadium saw, and more than just see it, the players felt it. From then what happened was just a consequence,” Mourinho told reporters.
Asked if he could turn around Chelsea’s unravelling season, he said cryptically: “If they allow us.”
Klopp was sympathetic. “I feel for him. He’s a great coach. I don’t think anyone in this room doubts he’s one of the best in the world. Things like this happen. I had a similar situation at (Borussia) Dortmund last year,” the German said.
While Chelsea lurch from crisis to crisis - they have lost nine times in all competitions including their midweek defeat on penalties by Stoke City in the League Cup which they won last season - Liverpool are buoyant.
They are on 17 points and have moved up to seventh after a run of six matches unbeaten in the league.
Fifth-placed West Ham United lost 2-0 at Watford, their first away loss of the season, while Newcastle United stayed in the bottom three after a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City.
Waning Rooney works another fruitless shift
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and Wayne Rooney during the game - Reuters
Reuters: Wayne Rooney endured another frustratingly disappointing afternoon in Manchester United’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The England striker, starting in his favoured central role, huffed and puffed to little effect with just one effort on target before finishing the match wide on the left having done little to silence his mounting critics.
The 30-year-old Rooney, England’s leading international scorer, looks a shadow of the player who has plundered 187 Premier League goals in his career.
He has scored only two league goals this season and his first involvement at Palace was a heated argument with referee Mike Jones after he penalised a United player.
Rooney curled an inviting 20-metre free kick from a central position too close to goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and lifted another free kick harmlessly over his team mates and into touch.
Released by a fine pass from fellow striker Anthony Martial, the former Everton forward failed to control the ball and wasted an opportunity before being caught offside in another promising position.
Rooney, however, continued to work tirelessly for United’s cause, tracking back and doing his fair share of defensive work.
With 20 minutes remaining, manager Louis van Gaal shunted him out to the left and moved Martial into the middle, the 19-year-old Frenchman’s better pace and mobility offering more of an attacking threat.
Rooney cut inside to send a 25-metre drive sailing over the bar to the delight of the home fans and his final contribution was to head away a deep free kick from Palace in stoppage time as United hung on for their third goalless draw in a week.
As he trudged off the pitch, Rooney raised his hands to applaud the away supporters who will have drifted away from Selhurst Park wondering if their captain’s loss of form is terminal.
Thirteen years as a professional footballer look to have taken their toll on his body and Van Gaal seems to have a difficult task to find a way to revitalise his once inspirational captain.
The draw left United fourth in the table, four points behind leaders Manchester City, and Palace in eighth position.