It was the perfect result for Manchester City after the two members of the chasing pack played out a draw at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool, heavily hit by covid in recent days and without their manager Jurgen Klopp on the touchline, raced into a 2-0 lead within half an hour before they were foolishly pegged back just before the half time whistle blew.
Sadio Mane, shown a yellow card in the first minute for a vibrant tackle, opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he pounced on a defensive mistake by Chalaboah.
Kelleher, van Dijk, Konaté, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Jota
Subs: Pitaluga, Adrián, Beck, Gomez, Williams, Morton, Keïta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones
He collected the ball inside the area and rounded the keeper before scoring his first in eight games.
Just on the stroke of the half hour, Mo Salah made it two when he latched on to a defence splitting ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold to add another goal to his burgeoning 2021/22 account.
But in four minutes of madness at the end of the half Liverpool conspired to let slip two of the points they had worked hard to accumulate.
James Milner needlessly conceding a free kick at the edge of the box. The cross was punched away by stand in keeper Kelleher but Kovacic was unmarked at the edge of the area and fired a nicely hit shot back at the net.
And then in first half injury time, Kante's pass split the reds defence and Pulisic scored the all important equaliser.
The second half looked primed for more goals but in truth it was a more stable affair. Chelsea quick at getting men behind the ball and although Liverpool finished the game the stronger side they did not have enough reinforcements from the bench to apply decisive pressure.
With no Firmino and Origi available they had to settle for midfield replacements for their forwards.
Man City now take an 11 point lead over Liverpool, with the reds having one game in hand and still having to travel to the Etihad.
There is no doubt that the drip drip of covid cases over the past few weeks has not benefitted Liverpool, with 8 points dropped over the last few games.
With Salah and Mane now heading off to AFCON, the reds now have three consecutive domestic cup matches but must also keep their senior squad match fit for the return of the Premier League in the middle of this month.
The hill to climb to try and win the league has been made all that much bigger.