Willian came off the bench to net a seemingly fortuitous equaliser as Chelsea snatched a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah appeared set to punish his former club when he broke the deadlock in an absorbing contest after 65 minutes.
But Brazil international Willian, who scored twice in the 4-0 Champions League win over Qarabag in midweek, picked out the far corner with a chipped attempt from the right-hand side of the penalty area five minutes from time – Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet caught out as he shaped to cross.
Roaming behind Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard was the game’s outstanding player during the opening 45 minutes, while Salah relished providing Liverpool’s sharpest attacking threat after Jurgen Klopp surprisingly opted to bench Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino following the midweek collapse at Sevilla.
Egypt star Salah scored twice in 13 Premier League games for Chelsea before being farmed out to Fiorentina and Roma in Serie A but now has 10 in as many top-fight appearances since swapping the Italian capital for Merseyside during the close season.
Yet, the final word came from Willian, with boss Antonio Conte tearing jubilantly around on the touchline. His champions are three points behind Manchester United in third, with Liverpool two places and three points further back.
Daniel Sturridge led the line for Liverpool and held up play tidily to tee up Salah after 10 minutes – the in-form winger firing a speculative attempt off target.
Liverpool were on top without creating any clear openings during the opening 20 minutes, while Hazard was predictably to the fore when Chelsea first threatened.
The Belgium forward brought down Danny Drinkwater’s lofted pass on the left and cut infield, forcing countryman Mignolet to push a well-hit drive behind.
Roles were reversed in the 24th minute as Hazard panicked the Liverpool defence with a purring run and threaded a pass through to Drinkwater.