London - Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday as the English footballing giants' new era got off to a bitterly disappointing start.
Goals in each half from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta sealed the points for Everton, who moved up to 11th in the Premier League standings as Liverpool slipped to second from bottom.
With their new American owner John W Henry watching from the stands at Goodison Park, Liverpool were unable to provide the win their supporters craved after last week's legal drama, which culminated in the club's takeover.
The defeat means Roy Hodgson's side have taken only six points from eight games this year, a grim indicator of the size of the rebuilding task facing Henry and his New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group.
A frenetic opening spell saw Everton take the lead on 34 minutes. Irish wide player Seamus Coleman surged down the right and cut back an inviting cross for Cahill, who blasted high into the net past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
The goal was no less than Everton deserved after they dominated a feisty first half that saw referee Howard Webb book three players - Everton's Cahill and Liverpool's Maxi Rodriguez and Raul Meireles.
Ayegbeni Yakubu forced a smart low save from Reina shortly before Everton took the lead, while Reina had to be alert on the stroke of half-time to save a rising long-range shot from Leon Osman.
Spanish midfield maestro Arteta doubled Everton's lead five minutes after the interval, lashing home a swerving right-foot shot from the edge of the area.
With the clock ticking down, Fernando Torres saw a shot well-saved by Tim Howard but it could not mask another disappointing afternoon for the Spanish striker, who looked out of sorts throughout.
In Sunday's other Premier League game, Manchester City can cut Chelsea's lead at the top to two points if they can secure an away victory at Blackpool.