Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez suffered a disastrous trip to Portsmouth after Javier Mascherano was dismissed during a miserable 2-0 defeat at Fratton Park.
Pompey's victory, with the goals coming from Nadir Belhadj and Frederic Piquionne, will ignite hope of survival in the Barclays Premier League, while Liverpool chances of finishing in the top four are uncertain - they missed a chance to record back-to-back league wins for the first time since September.
It means Avram Grant maintains his unbeaten record against Benitez after recording two wins and two draws during his time at Chelsea in the 2008 season.
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