Defeat at home to Chelsea left Liverpool treading water in 11th spot after 11 Premier League games, with their price to finish in the top four swollen to 3/1.
The Blues raced a surely unbridgeable 15 points clear of Brendan Rodgers’ men after their 2-1 win at Anfield; the Reds’ sole focus for the remainder of the campaign will be to qualify for the Champions League for the second successive season.
Given that Southampton, the team currently occupying the Premier League’s silver-medal berth, are afforded an identical price in the skirmish for a top-four finish, it’s safe to assume the bookies don’t fancy the Reds to achieve their primary objective.
But a poignant stat that emerged prior to Liverpool and Chelsea kicked off at the weekend refutes this notion.
In each of the previous three seasons in which the Merseysiders had just 14 points racked up by game ten they’ve managed to make it into the top four.
So, prior to the visit of Jose Mourinho’s men, there was hope for salvation.
In none of these three seasons, though, did Liverpool lose game 11.
The last time they recovered from a sluggish start of similar magnitude was 2006/07, in which they closed the campaign with 68 points and in third place.
However, their 11th outing of that term saw Reading despatched 2-0 at Anfield.
They overcame identical adversity to this campaign in 2003/04 too, though a 2-1 away win at Fulham on matchday 11 helped rev their engines to recovery.
Even when they stomped out the same fire in 1999/2000 to successfully wind up in top-fourdom they required a 1-1 draw with Southampton to kick them off on the road to redemption, although unfortunately, there was no Champions League place awarded for not making the podium that season.
So even though they may only be four points off the elite bracket the Reds are aiming to land in after 38 games as it stands, history suggests their inability to at least draw with Chelsea last time out will see them fail in their quest.