Liverpool's English Premier League title hopes suffered a huge setback as they lost 3-1 away to Fulham on Saturday and finished the match at Craven Cottage down to nine men.
Liverpool's sixth loss in seven matches left them nine points off the top of the table and undid much of the good work achieved by last week's win over champions Manchester United.
"If you see the first half, it is difficult to explain the second-half," bewildered Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez told Sky Sports.
In all eight red cards were shown in Saturday's matches - a record for one day in the Premier League.
Table-toppers Chelsea maintained their lead over United with a second 4-0 win this week over Bolton Wanderers.
Second-half goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney saw United keep Chelsea's lead to two points after they beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Old Trafford in Saturday's late kick-off.
"One-nil is good as well as long as you get the three points," Berbatov told ESPN. "As long as we keep on winning I think everyone will be happy."
Earlier, Arsenal enjoyed bragging rights in north London after a 3-0 derby win over Tottenham Hotspur.
"Do we have enough to win the title? I say yes," said delighted Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
At the other end of the table, basement club Portsmouth won in the league for only the second time this season, beating Wigan 4-0 at Fratton Park with Aruna Dindane scoring a hat-trick.
"I thought we thoroughly deserved the win," said Pompey manager Paul Hart after a second 4-0 home success in a matter of days following their League Cup rout of Stoke.
Second-bottom West Ham drew 2-2 with Sunderland, also the scoreline in Stoke's match against Wolves. Everton and Aston Villa, who both had a player sent-off, drew 1-1 at Goodison Park.
Burnley added to the pressure on Hull manager Phil Brown with a 2-0 victory over the relegation candidates at Turf Moor.
"I expect to be manager of this football club in the Premier League next year," a defiant Brown said afterwards.
At Craven Cottage, Fulham went ahead against the run of play when striker Bobby Zamora turned in a Damien Duff cross in the 24th minute.
But before half-time Liverpool were level with Spain's Fernando Torres pouncing after Andriy Voronin's header came back off Aaron Hughes.
However, Fulham regained the lead when Norway's Erik Nevland struck from close range in the 73rd minute.
Worse followed for the Reds with defenders Phillip Degen and Jamie Carrragher sent-off for fouls on Clint Dempsey and Zamora respectively.
And Fulham wrapped up the match when Dempsey netted three minutes from time.
Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of half-time through a Frank Lampard penalty after Bolton's Jlloyd Samuel was sent-off for a foul on Didier Drogba.
And Chelsea doubled their lead after Deco scored in the 61st minute following good work by Nicolas Anelka. Zat Knight's own goal and Drogba's late effort made it 4-0.
Robin van Persie scored twice as Arsenal put Tottenham's title aspirations in perspective.
The Dutchman opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when he turned in Bacary Sagna's cross at the near-post.
From the kick-off, Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas surged through the visitors' defence to make it 2-0.
Van Persie piled on the misery for Harry Redknapp's team in the 60th minute.
Cash-strapped Portsmouth were on their way when Dindane scored his first Premier League goal in the 35th minute after running on to Michael Brown's through ball.
Frederic Piquionne scored just before the break before the previously misfiring Dindane grabbed two more goals.
Graham Alexander marked his 100th appearance for Burnley with two goals, starting with a 20th minute penalty.
Hull's Geovanni found the back of the net with a free-kick but his effort was ruled out for a foul. The Brazilian was then sent-off and Alexander added a second for Burnley.
West Ham went 2-0 up through goals from Guillermo Franco and Carlton Cole but Sunderland hit back courtesy of Andy Reid's free-kick.
However, the hosts were reduced to 10 men when striker Kenwyne Jones was sent-off for a push on Herita Ilunga.
But Sunderland levelled through Kieran Richardson and then West Ham were a man down when Radislav Kovac was dismissed.
Stoke were also 2-0 up, through a George Elokobi own-goal and Matthew Etherington before Jody Craddock struck twice for Wolves.
Everton took the lead through Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in the 45th minute before substitute John Carew drew Villa level.
Bilyaletdinov then saw red for a wild tackle on Stiliyan Petrov before, moments later, Villa's Carlos Cuellar was sent-off for a second yellow card.