Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez refused to blame a freak incident for his team's 1-0 defeat at Sunderland, his side's fourth Premier League loss of the season.
The only goal of the match came in the fourth minute when Darren Bent's shot deflected off an inflatable ball thrown on to the pitch by a fan before nestling in Jose Reina's net.
But a phlegmatic Benitez said after the game: "It was a special situation. The goal changed the game but we didn't play well, made some mistakes and gave the ball away.
"After the goal they played well on the counter-attack. They had some chances and when we had our chances we didn't take them.
"These things can happen in a lot of games. It's a bad situation for us that the (inflatable) ball was in the middle and was influential but again I will say we didn't play well - that's the main thing for me.
"We had some players who we knew could be a little bit tired, and then conceding after four minutes it was even more difficult. We have to do better if we want to win these kind of games.
"In a normal season teams at the top would be winning every game and it would be a long distance to the top now but Chelsea have lost two games and I think we'll see a lot of top teams lose games.
"Losing four games is bad but crucial? That depends on the next few games. If we can win two or three games in a row we can be at the top of the table. It's a question of keeping our confidence, working hard and trying to do better.
"We have an important game on Tuesday and then on Sunday. It's not important to talk about the table, we just have to think about getting three points in every game."