LIVERPOOL slumped to a 0-3 loss to Brighton at the American Express Stadium in a Premier League game on Saturday.
Their hopes of salvaging a top-four finish from a difficult campaign suffered a major hit as Brighton swept to victory on the south coast.
After dominating the first half without making the breakthrough, Brighton deservedly took the lead in the 47th minute.
Joel Matip carelessly surrendered possession to Alexis Mac Allister and he found Kaoru Mitoma, whose cross was perfectly weighted for the unmarked Solly March to tap in.
Liverpool were in disarray and six minutes later, March crashed a fine finish into the far corner from just inside the area.
Danny Welbeck wrapped up the victory, flicking March’s pass over Joe Gomez and volleying home.
Beaten at Brentford in their previous league game, Liverpool are languishing in eighth place, seven points adrift of the top four, and look a shadow of the team that nearly won the quadruple last term.
Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton are in even more dire straits after Southampton’s 2-1 win at Goodison Park.
Everton’s board of directors did not attend the game because of a “real and credible threat to their safety”.
Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale was reportedly manhandled by a fan and had her car attacked after last week’s 4-1 home defeat by Brighton.
Everton have won only one of their last 13 matches in all competitions and banners and flags calling for the board to leave were unfurled before kick-off.
Southampton fell behind in the 39th minute as Amadou Onana headed home from Demarai Gray’s corner.
But less than two minutes into the second half, James Ward-Prowse collected Che Adams’ knock-down on the edge of the area and drilled Southampton’s equaliser.
Ward-Prowse inflicted greater pain in the 78th minute when he whipped one of his trademark free-kicks past Jordan Pickford.
Southampton remain bottom of the table but they are now behind second-bottom Everton only on goal difference
West Ham fill the final place in the bottom three after a 1-0 defeat at Wolves that saw the hosts move above the hapless Hammers.
Daniel Podence netted in the 48th minute to leave West Ham without a win in their last seven league games.
Brennan Johnson struck twice as Nottingham Forest beat midlands rivals Leicester 2-0 at the City Ground.