Chelsea have completed a torrid few days for Liverpool as goals from Willian and Ross Barkley sealed a 2-0 victory to send them through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Liverpool’s 44-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League ended in stunning fashion with a 3-0 defeat at Watford on Saturday and they were rocked again at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Adrian allowed Willian’s powerful shot to creep past him in the 13th minute and former Everton midfielder Barkley drove home Chelsea’s second goal just past the hour mark after collecting the ball in his own half.
Pedro should have added a third moments later after finding himself clean through on goal but he was denied by the legs of Adrian.
Giroud should have killed the tie too, but Adrian palmed his close-range effort onto the bar when the France striker should have hit the net.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made seven changes to the side that lost to Watford but he still fielded an experienced line-up, having played a virtual under-21 side in the previous FA Cup round against Shrewsbury Town.
Sadio Mane wasted several early chances and Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, back for the first time since being dropped in January, made a remarkable triple save before halftime.
But Chelsea, with 18-year-old Billy Gilmour impressive in midfield, were merited winners as they moved through.
For Liverpool, a season of utter dominance has suddenly hit a slump with three defeats in four games in all competitions having also lost to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie a fortnight ago.
However, they still boast a 22-point Premier League lead over second-placed Manchester City, with a first top-flight title in 30 years a mere formality.
Newcastle United booked therir place in the FA Cup last eight after they held on to win 3-2 at Championship leaders West Brom.