Klopp wows the Kop
Pool boss maintains impressive record against the big teams
(Diego Costa 61)
(Dejan Lovren 17, Jordan Henderson 36)
As Juergen Klopp rushed on to the Stamford Bridge pitch to hug each and every one of his Liverpool players after another impressive early-season marker, Antonio Conte was back in the dressing room contemplating his first defeat as the new Chelsea boss.
Liverpool's thoroughly deserved 2-1 victory yesterday morning (Singapore time) not only showed how Klopp has adapted to the EPL after a year, but also provided telling signs about which of these sides are likely to challenge for honours over the next eight months.
The Reds may have come unstuck at Burnley earlier this season but, if the rule of thumb in terms of being considered a genuine threat is that you at least match your fellow contenders, then Klopp has made a pretty good start.
Victory at Arsenal, victory over defending champions Leicester, a point at Tottenham and now three points at Stamford Bridge.
Not bad, considering Klopp's Reds have played only once at home.
In fact, in 14 games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Spurs since arriving almost a year ago, Klopp has lost only twice.
The point is that adapting to the rigours of the EPL does not happen overnight.
Conte may have cemented an enviable reputation at Juventus, where he won 28 of his final 30 home matches in charge, with his last defeat coming in January 2013.
But he has already discovered that working in the EPL tests managerial skills to the limit and requires players to put in almost super-human levels of concentration.
Both of those were found lacking at Stamford Bridge, where the sense of optimism at Conte's arrival gave way to a healthy dose of reality.
The Italian's body language was not great even before kick-off, when he somewhat oddly pronounced that it was a bad time to play Liverpool.
Wrong message. He should have been focusing on what his own team were capable of.
Thus, his 4-5-1 system was designed to cede possession to the visitors and, instead, rely on the counter-attack.
The tactic might have worked in Serie A but is a dangerous game to play in England when you are up against confident opponents with so many attackers at their disposal.
By the time Conte realised he had given Liverpool far too much respect and pushed Oscar up alongside Diego Costa, his team were already 2-0 down courtesy of Dejan Lovren's opener and a spectacular Jordan Henderson 25-metre strike that curved and dipped beyond Thibaut Courtois.
BLUES BEATEN: Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois diving in vain as Jordan Henderson’s 25m effort dips past him. PHOTO: AFP
While Costa succeeded in halving the deficit just after half-time to spark a mini revival, this was one of those occasions when Liverpool's defence did its job.
But what about Chelsea's defence? The old adage is never go back and it was certainly a case of deja vu for David Luiz.
Just as the Brazilian's first debut for the Londoners ended in defeat by Liverpool, so his second after the £30 million ($53m) move back to the capital from Paris St Germain produced the same outcome.
If Luiz was not responsible for either Liverpool goal, his solid but unspectacular display did not exactly show Chelsea fans what they have been missing, with the occasional wayward pass.
Conte isn't used to seeing his defence put under as much pressure as yesterday, and when John Terry recovers, he would at least have one more option.
Having said that, there is no doubt that Conte has already vastly improved Chelsea, whose players seem comfortable under his management and who, let's not forget, are on the same number of points as Liverpool.
They can't do much worse than last season, when they finished 10th.
The question is what will constitute success now that they have a highly qualified manager with a heap of trophies behind him.
The title? Unlikely at the first time of asking because the balance is not quite there yet.
Top four? That must be the goal. The idea of a second campaign without Champions League football at the end of it would be anathema to Roman Abramovich.
He will surely settle for nothing less.