Luis Suarez dealt a huge double blow to Chelsea's Barclays Premier League title hopes on Sunday after inadvertently ending John Terry's comeback and snatching a deserved 1-1 draw for Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Terry looked set to enjoy a dream return to action after his domestic four-match racism ban when he powered the European champions ahead from a corner at Stamford Bridge.
But the Blues captain then collided accidentally with Suarez, forcing him off on a stretcher, with the Uruguayan going on to equalise for Liverpool. The draw prevented Chelsea from climbing back into second place as they recorded their third league game without a win to lie three points behind Manchester United.
The Blues' counter-attacking approach almost paid off in the sixth minute when Joe Allen lost possession to Oscar, who was threaded in by Eden Hazard only to lift the ball over the crossbar. But Liverpool's defence went AWOL from Chelsea's first corner as Terry was allowed to dart untracked to the near post and duly powered home Juan Mata's delivery.
Another Chelsea break from Hazard saw Fernando Torres' shot parried by Brad Jones straight to the Belgian, who could not control his volley. Nuri Sahin dragged wide at the other end before a nightmare moment for Terry and Chelsea 10 minutes from the break.
Terry gifted the ball to Steven Gerrard and got back to make a tackle on Suarez, who fell on his right leg, leaving him in agony and after several minutes of treatment on his knee, he was carried off on a stretcher.
Liverpool hauled off Sahin for Suso and briefly had Chelsea under pressure before Torres went close to prodding in Ryan Bertrand's cross. Mikel nearly got on the end of a Mata free-kick after Gerrard was cautioned for tripping Oscar.
But Liverpool's substitution paid off 17 minutes from time when Suso's corner was flicked on by Jamie Carragher and Suarez nodded home from point-blank range. Chelsea came straight back at them but the visitors were defending manfully.
Liverpool looked just as capable of snatching victory as Suso shanked wide when well-placed, Suarez tried his luck from the halfway line and Ivanovic powered over a header. Suarez would have won it for Liverpool after racing clear onto Enrique's ball but for a vital challenge from Cech.
And after Hazard blasted narrowly wide, Cech came to Chelsea's rescue again in stoppage-time by keeping out Enrique's powerful near-post shot.