Liverpool's mini-revival petered out in dismal fashion as they lost 2-0 to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.
A six-match unbeaten run came to end as they were out-fought, out-played and out-manoeuvred by Tony Pulis' side.
Ricardo Fuller opened the scoring just after half-time and Kenwyne Jones completed a comprehensive victory in the final minute before Lucas was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Liverpool failed to deal with Rory Delap's 56th-minute throw and a scramble saw the ball break to Matt Etherington at the far post.
His cross-shot bounced back off Paul Konchesky to Fuller, whose had his first effort was blocked but stabbed home the second from close range.
The visitors' embarrassment was completed in the 90th minute when Steven Gerrard gave the ball away and Jones was able to skip past Martin Skrtel to fire home.