Brendan Rodgers' suggestion Liverpool could finish second on Friday could not have been timed worse after the Reds were beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa in Saturday's outstanding Premier League result. The gap between Liverpool, in 14th, and Manchester City (second) is now 14 points.
City remain six points behind Manchester United after a casual 3-1 win against Sunderland. City defeated Newcastle by the same scoreline in the lunchtime kick-off.
Elsewhere, Norwich shot up to seventh with a 2-1 win over Wigan, QPR got a first win of the season at home to Fulham courtesy of some Adel Taarabt brilliance and Stoke and Everton drew 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium.