Liverpool's spell as the Christmas No. 1 came to an end with their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, but the Reds were impressive enough to suggest that they are more than just a one-hit wonder this season.
Brendan Rodgers' side took the lead the Etihad Stadium through a precise Philippe Coutinho finish following some intricate buildup, but ultimately they were forced to rue defensive sloppiness as goals from Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo turned the tables to take City up to second place in the Premier League behind Arsenal.
Kompany beat Martin Skrtel in the air to head the equaliser, before Negredo profited from a Simon Mignolet error and saw his strike squirm over the line in first-half stoppage time.
Both the timing and the manner of Negredo's goal proved crucial as City protected their second-half lead in the face of fierce Liverpool pressure, with Raheem Sterling wasting the Reds' best chance when he fired over from close range having been found by Luis Suarez.
Sterling had earlier been frustrated by an incorrect linesman's flag in the first half with the score still at 0-0, and ultimately this became an evening of "what might have beens" for Liverpool.
City, however, will take heart from a ninth home league win of the season, albeit one achieved with a fraction of the emphatic nature of pretty much all of the others.
Here are six lessons learned from the Etihad: