This season's Premier League is already looking like a two-horse race.
On Saturday, Manchester United dramatically confirmed that rumours of their revival have been greatly exaggerated.
Yesterday Chelsea demonstrated that their big battle will be with United, Arsenal, Spurs and Wolves rather than Liverpool or Manchester City.
Just two months ago Frank Lampard was provoked into spluttering outrage by what he perceived to be arrogance on Jurgen Klopp's part.
Yesterday's game provided another indictment of a manager who clearly believes the aristocrats of Anfield occupy a far more exalted plane than the serfs of Stamford Bridge.
But that manager isn't Jurgen Klopp. It's Frank Lampard.
This performance was one long admission of impotent inferiority by the Blues. Chelsea were as timid on the field as they've been bullish on the side lines and in the transfer market. They resembled nothing more than a lower-division team hoping to scratch out a cup result against top-flight opposition.
Surrendering possession and territory, defending deep and in numbers, the home team looked as though their abiding memory of the 5-3 July defeat by the visitors was the four goals Liverpool had scored in the first 54 minutes rather than the great Chelsea fightback which followed.
They played as though convinced that 'fortune favours the brave' is just fake news.
Lampard's game-plan seemed based as much on hope as expectation and it fell to bits when, two minutes before the break, Jordan Henderson struck a magnificent through ball which started Sadio Mane and Andreas Christensen on a race towards goal.
It was about as equal a contest as a game of Scrabble between Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The lumbering Scandinavian was forced to down the flying African with the kind of rugby tackle Jacob Stockdale had been unable to execute against Cheslin Kolbe earlier in the afternoon.
Sometimes a sending off completely changes the course of a game but Christensen's dismissal merely altered the speed of the one-way traffic rather than its direction.
With both teams at full strength a Liverpool breakthrough had still looked inevitable. Chelsea's decimation just made it that bit easier.
Embarrassingly easier to be honest. Liverpool's 49th-minute opener with Roberto Firmino working a one-two on the right side of the area before clipping in a cross which Mane headed home resembled a pre-match warm-up routine.
Four minutes later Kepa Arrizabalaga committed a howler which will get his dodginess rating upgraded from David de Gea 2020 to Loris Karius 2018.
The Spaniard's somnolence as Mane closed in showed that, for all the money Chelsea have spent recently, their most important signing may be that of Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
Kepa's status as the most expensive goalkeeper in history grows more mysterious by the game. The fact that he's the club's biggest signing of all time, and that Alvaro Morata is the third biggest, should give pause to those convinced that Roman Abramovich's money alone can guarantee a title challenge.
It's early days yet and when the teams meet next Lampard should have Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Christian Pulisic in his side. They should improve matters but this performance, like United's on Saturday, was not one of a team poised to mount a title challenge. The current gap is simply too big to close in the space of a season.
Jorginho's 72nd-minute penalty symbolised the gulf in confidence separating the two sides. He didn't seem to believe he could score it. Allison looked like he'd never doubted he could save it. Lampard's withdrawal of Kai Havertz at half-time so Fikayo Tomori could come in at centre-back for the dismissed Christensen was also telling.
Other players rather than the club's second most expensive signing might have been sacrificed but Lampard remained dedicated to a safety-first approach rendered obsolete eight minutes after the restart.
Too much was read into Liverpool's faltering post-lockdown form when the league was as good as secured. It's a long time since Klopp's men lost a league match which actually mattered and they'll lose very few this term.
They may not have attained top speed yet but there is little evidence of diminishing powers.
Andy Robertson's running and Trent Alexander-Arnold's distribution continue to make them a full-back duo like no other.
Henderson's through ball showed he's entitled to be slightly miffed at suggestions that Thiago Alcantara's arrival finally gives Liverpool a playmaker of quality.
Only a fine injury-time Kepa save prevented Mane from matching Mohamed Salah's hat-trick from last week.
There was even a bonus in the performance of Fabinho who, pressed into service at centre-back, twice negotiated one-on-one showdowns with the speedy Timo Werner in exemplary fashion.
If anything sums up the Liverpool attitude, it's the moment just before the second goal when Mane, having given the ball away, jumped into the air in a fit of self-disgust before immediately haring into the box to block Kepa's kick. This remarkable team will not be sated by one Premier League title. Its standards are too high.
Manchester City's match against Wolves tonight should give an indication of whether Pep Guardiola's men can recapture the hunger which so conspicuously deserted them last season. You'd hope they can for competition's sake.
A two-horse race might sound a bit limited. But it's one more horse than last season.