An injury-time James Milner penalty sparked huge celebrations at Anfield as Liverpool beat Leicester 2-1 for an eighth successive Premier League win that moved them eight points clear at the top of the table.
The contrast with Tottenham Hotspur, who they beat in last season's European Champions League final, could not be more marked as Mauricio Pochettino's side continued to ship goals in a 3-0 loss at Brighton.
In the day's other games, Aston Villa thumped Norwich City 5-1, Burnley edged Everton 1-0, Crystal Palace won 2-1 at West Ham and Sheffield United drew 0-0 at Watford.
With Manchester City playing a day later, 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. "The boys have done it time and time again. There was a few tired legs and it was about getting the result."
Tottenham's defeat at the Amex Stadium was compounded by a horror injury to keeper Hugo Lloris, who was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated elbow after making another mistake which gifted Neal Maupay Brighton's opening goal inside the opening three minutes.
Pochettino acknowledged he was going through the toughest period of his six seasons as Spurs manager but said: "Now is a moment to be strong."
Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy was impressive on Brighton's left side.
"I thought we played really well. The intent from the start was to win and we managed to do that, great performance by the team," Mooy told BT Sport.
"We've played well in most of the games this season but the final touch has not been there. But [yesterday] we put it all together and a 3-0 home win is the perfect result."
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.
That hardly mattered as Villa recorded their highest away league win in 11 years against a side that had conquered champions Manchester City in their previous home game.
Everton sit one point above Norwich after a fourth successive league defeat that will pile more pressure on manager Marco Silva.
Jeff Hendrick scored Burnley's winner and Everton will rue the dismissal of Seamus Coleman for two yellow cards. All White Chris Wood played the full 90 for Burnley.
Jordan Ayew scored a VAR-assisted 88th-minute goal to complete Crystal Palace's comeback victory at West Ham which moved Roy Hodgson's side into the top four.
West Ham had taken the lead on 54 minutes through Sebastien Haller but Patrick van Aanholt's cool penalty brought the visitors level before Ayew's late winner.
Bottom side Watford still have no league win this season after being held to a goalless draw by Sheffield United at Vicarage Road.