Liverpool 0 Chelsea 2

Chelsea moved a major step closer to the Premier League title following a comfortable 2-0 win over Liverpool which came via a little help from one-time transfer target Steven Gerrard.

The victory at Anfield means Carlo Ancelotti's team will lift the title if Manchester United lose to Sunderland later on Sunday.

And if Sir Alex Ferguson's team only draw, the Londoners would be virtually assured victory, thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.

Liverpool started brightly with Alberto Aquilani firing a fierce and fizzing shot just over the bar, but Chelsea soon exerted their dominance against a Liverpool side whose shape was frequently stretched.

However, the post-match talk will revolve around an inexcusable pass from Gerrard which inadvertently but brilliantly set-up Didier Drogba, who gratefully fired the ball past a fuming Pepe Reina.

Many Liverpool fans were on record as saying they wanted their team to lose, with a Manchester United title victory heaping further woe on a season of crushing disappointment at Anfield.

But few expected their talismanic captain to play such a crucial role in the defeat.

The 33rd minute goal only fired up Chelsea, who should have added to their advantage as the Gerrard's colleagues also seemed intent on throwing the match away.

Nicolas Anelka was robbed just as he was shaping to fire home by a last-ditch Sotirios Kyrgiakos challenge, while Salomon Kalou will feel aggrieved that Lucas' challenge was not rewarded with a spot-kick.

However, Frank Lampard doubled their advantage with a 54th minute strike - his 21st league goal of the season - which ignited the visiting fans in a full-throated rendition of 'we're going to win the league'.

Again Liverpool were easily scythed apart with Anelka providing the precision cross that Lampard muscled in on to score.

Florent Malouda produced a brilliant stop from Reina, although he effort would have been discounted for offside as Chelsea confidently surged forward in search of more.

Liverpool created little with their crocked star man Fernando Torres sidelined in the stands, failing to trouble Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with a single shot on target until Dirk Kuyt's effort in stoppage time.