Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl slumped to the ground, pulled down the bill of his cap and wept after another big win for his team in the English Premier League.
On the receiving end this time was Liverpool, who also appear to be on their knees in what is shaping up to be the most open title race in years.
Danny Ings, a former Liverpool player, scored in the second minute to lead Southampton to a 1-0 win over the champions at an empty St Mary's Stadium on Monday.
Liverpool have gone three games without a win - after back-to-back draws against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle - and lead on only on goal difference from great rivals Manchester United, who have played one game less.
United are not the only team in striking distance of the lead approaching the halfway point of the league.
Four points separate Liverpool from seventh-placed Everton, with 10th-placed West Ham only seven points off the lead in what was always going to be a disjointed season amid the pandemic.
Southampton are in the mix, too, their latest win lifting Hasenhuttl's team to sixth place in a season when they have been top - albeit briefly - for the first time since 1988.
It all proved too much at the final whistle for the emotional Hasenhuttl, whose team was heavily depleted for the game.
"When you see our guys fighting with everything they have, it makes me really proud," the Austrian coach said. "You need to have the perfect game against Liverpool and I think we did have that.
"It was an intense game, my voice is nearly gone. The guys are tired, you have to be to win against such a team. The guys believed in what they were doing."
Hasenhuttl was emotional at the final whistle after securing his first points against Juergen Klopp.
"I have never taken points against Juergen so far so I think I started believing we could do it in the 92nd minute, not earlier."
Few could have foreseen this sudden drop-off by Liverpool, who have failed to score in successive games for only the second time in Klopp's five-year tenure.
Indeed, such has been Liverpool's lack of cutting edge of late that Klopp's team has managed just seven shots on target in the past three games. In the game before that, Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 7-0 away.
"Our decision-making was just not good," Klopp said. "That is how it is when you don't have momentum. We should have had much more chances."
Southampton were missing the spine of their team, with first-choice goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (coronavirus), central midfielder Oriol Romeu (hamstring) and striker Che Adams (concussion) joining giant centre back Jannik Vestergaard on the sidelines.
"You know exactly what you are going to get from them," Klopp said of Southampton. "You cannot be surprised but we looked surprised.
"At the beginning how we played, where we lost the balls, it's not rocket science. We should have done much better. We played into their hands with the start."
Australian Associated Press