As Liverpool continue to lose ground in the Premier League title race, the last thing they needed was another challenger to emerge.
But after Frank Lampard’s dismissal at Chelsea, the imminent appointment of Thomas Tuchel could provide just that.
Despite spending £220m in the summer, the Blues legend could only guide his side to two wins from their last eight Premier League matches to drop to ninth in the table and ultimately cost him his job at Stamford Bridge.
But having spent big on the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell in the summer, the strength in the Chelsea squad is there for all to see despite recent failings.
And it hasn’t gone unnoticed on Merseyside.
“Chelsea is for me at the moment looking like the favourite with a bigger squad and after a bit of a rusty start are now fully in,” Jurgen Klopp said when asked about the title race back at the start of December. “They have unbelievable opportunities to change the team from one game to another.”
Of course, a legitimate challenge this year does seem unlikely for the Blues but Tuchel’s appointment should reignite their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Currently five points behind Liverpool in fourth, Chelsea travel to Anfield on March 20 and both sides will hope their current fortunes are very different in two months’ time.
But Klopp will hope his compatriot’s past fortunes on the red half of Merseyside continue, having got the better of both his Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain sides in recent seasons.
Having replaced the Liverpool boss at Dortmund, Tuchel was in charge of their infamous 4-3 defeat on Merseyside in 2016 when Dejan Lovren headed home a dramatic late winner in one of Anfield’s most famous European nights.
“Ultimately we were hit by a late sucker punch from the opposition. S*** happens,” was Tuchel’s assessment of the loss on the night.
“It feels very sobering. Now we feel very, very empty.
"We were on the verge of a major aim, a real milestone: overcoming Liverpool at Anfield in a knockout match.
"We must face the fact that we did not manage it. We must be fair and admit that after going 3-1 up we no longer coped with how much risk Liverpool were playing with.
“The trust in our ways of operating was no longer so high, especially under stress and pressure. And thus the worst-case scenario occurred.
'We had a significant cushion but lost the second half 4-1. That is far below the standards that we set ourselves.”
He continued: “There was no individual part of the puzzle that did not fit. Actually a lot worked very well today.
“After falling behind early Liverpool had to take a lot of risks. We were on the verge of taking a three-goal lead on several occasions.
“It's the small details that count, the cross-field passes, the passes into the gaps. If we had made it 3-0 then it would have probably been all over, but as it was Liverpool were always in it.
“We were missing the confidence and the presence to calm the game down after they pulled back to 3-2 and to perform against our opponent.
“At a certain point they were completely driven by emotion.”
Taking over at Paris Saint-Germain in 2018, he endured a similar fate in the Champions League group-stages as Roberto Firmino rifled home a last-minute winner to claim a 3-2 win for the Reds.
“This is Anfield, this is what they do," was his response that night after lightning struck twice for the German.
"Maybe the score didn't tell the story of the game. Right at the end, we had the chance with Julian Draxler that could have won it before Liverpool scored.
"We put in a great performance in the first half. For me, the result was not logical or correct. We conceded two goals in the first half but never at any point did we lose our confidence.
"We played with a lot of bravery and mental strength. Maybe in the second half we gave the ball away too easily but this is Anfield, Jurgen Klopp has worked with his team for three years, Liverpool press you and make it hard. But we never lost our shape.
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"Through our efforts we managed to get the equalising goal. But the end was very, very tough."
Of course, the Anfield Tuchel has suffered such bitter blows at in the past was a red cauldron of noise with Liverpool fans living up to their reputation and demonstrating just how intimidating their European nights can be to opposing sides.
This time around, with matches still taking place behind-closed-doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, Tuchel will face a very different prospect. S*** happens.
But with Liverpool and Chelsea both currently wounded animals, Klopp will hope it is his side who boast the killer punch as they look to get their campaign back on track in the second half of the season.
Afterall, this is what they do.