Liverpool conceded 3 goals in 8 minutes at the end of the first half as they imploded against in-form Arsenal.
In a week which has been dominated by Raheem Sterling speaking to the media about his future the Liverpool manager elected to start the 20 year old up front. Lucas Leiva started his first game since injury and Kolo Toure was chosen to replace Skrtel - £20M Dejan Lovren again on the bench.
The reds were lucky to survive the opening ten minutes with Mignolet constantly called into action as the Gunners started the brighter.
The reds did improve during the first half - Markovic and Sterling combining well at times - although with little end product.
However, the reds were missing their dominant defender Martin Skrtel through suspension and as the first half approached an end Liverpool threw in the towel in spectacular fashion.
First Hector Bellerin managed to open up sufficient space to fire in the opener. Then Ozut Mezil curled in an exquisite free kick - bypassing the wall and the fingertips of Simon Mignolet. And there was still time for more - Alexis Sanchez adding another goal to his account in the 45th minute.
The reds trudged off the pitch at half time probably in the knowledge that the chase for the top four was as good as over.
In fact it was the first time LFC had been 3 goals down at half time in the league since February 1994 - 21 years ago.
Daniel Sturridge was brought on at half time for Lazar Markovic but the change had little impact. Emre Can was positioned on the right wing as the reds appeared to shift to a more traditional back four.
In a rather more tame second half Liverpool were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left when Sterling was brought down by Bellerin. Jordan Henderson converted the penalty - although Ospina did manage to get his fingertips to the ball.
Clawing a goal back however did not signal the start of a dramatic Liverpool comeback.
With five minutes to go things would get worse for the reds - Emre Can picking up a second yellow card and getting his marching orders.
And then in injury time Arsenal rubbed salt in the wounds when Giroud smashed in a fourth.
Today was most likely the day that all Champions League hopes were extinguished.