A stoppage-time James Milner penalty sparked huge celebrations at Anfield as Liverpool beat Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday for an eighth successive Premier League win that moved them eight points clear at the top of the table.
The contrast with Tottenham Hotspur, whom they beat in last season's Champions League final, could not be more marked as Mauricio Pochettino's side continued to ship goals in a 3-0 loss at Brighton & Hove Albion while Aston Villa thumped Norwich City 5-1 and Burnley edged Everton 1-0.
With Manchester City not playing until Sunday, Liverpool looked determined to lay down their marker and were well in control when Sadio Mane scored the opener - his 50th league goal for the club - after getting on the end of a superb through ball from Milner.
But Leicester were always a threat on the break and looked to have secured a point when James Maddison equalised 10 minutes from time before a rash Mark Albrighton challenge on Mane set up Milner's penalty chance.
"We had to dig deep and find the points," said Milner, who said he just had to concentrate and stay calm to convert his 16th spot-kick in 18 attempts for Liverpool. "The boys have done it time and time again. There was a few tired legs and it was about getting the result." The game ended with several players from both sides confronting each other as passions threatened to boil over.
Tottenham's defeat at the Amex stadium was compounded by a horror injury to keeper Hugo Lloris, who was taken to hospital after injuring his arm in trying to keep out Neal Maupay's opener on three minutes.
The French keeper, who made a howler against Southampton last week and conceded seven against Bayern Munich, was badly at fault in parrying the ball straight into Maupay's path.
But recriminations were soon forgotten as the severity of his injury became clear and Lloris was treated on the pitch for six minutes before leaving on a stretcher.
Brazilian striker Wesley scored twice for Aston Villa in the 5-1 win over Norwich although he spurned the chance of a first-half hat-trick by missing a penalty.