While I admit to feeling like Liverpool's hopes were over after three games, I actually feel the opposite now, after a third defeat.
Those first two defeats really bothered me; this latest one didn't.
The key was to get some wins under the belt after losing two out of the opening three, and that happened; otherwise the hole could have got quite deep. But now, the table is still so tight that a couple more wins in quick succession can easily change things.
I do get sick of the "yes they can"/"No they can't" guff that surrounds every big team after a win or a defeat. It's a manic depressive state of analysis. Viewed dispassionately, it's ludicrous.
Six points off the pace at this stage is not ideal, but equally it's nothing to panic about, particularly with Chelsea and United able to drop points cheaply, as they have at places like Wigan and Burnley; and with United's squad looking weaker than last season, and Chelsea due to lose almost half a team to the African Nations.
I'm also curious to see how Chelsea's ageing team copes come the spring, especially as they have for once escaped injury problems to their major players (which helps them very much for now, but could lead to burnout for the thirtysomethings.) Of course, the Reds will still need to be in the mix, but I think that's easily possible.
I felt that Liverpool were marginally the better team at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea were more clinical in front of goal. On that score, they will argue that they deserved the points, and that argument always carries water, but they didn't impress me as much as they have in the past. I felt they had all the luck.
Unlike the Fiorentina game, this was a match Benítez's men didn't deserve to lose, and had a penalty been awarded at 0-0 for a foul by the unusually upright Drogba on Skrtel, the table might look very different now.
Unusually wayward misses from Torres and Benayoun summed up the day in the final third, but on the whole there was much to be encouraged by, particularly from some of the less-heralded players, and the return to form of both centre-backs (even if Carragher did get beaten for the second goal).
All last season we were told that draws cost the Reds. Draws draws draws. Doesn't matter if you gamble and lose, but avoid the draws.
Well, there have been no draws this season.
We were told that it's not beating the big teams that counts, it's beating the little 'uns. So is that no longer true?
Going into the Chelsea game, the Reds were actually a point up on the corresponding fixtures from 2008/09. That's fairly remarkable given the criticism that's been aimed at Liverpool since the summer.
The Chelsea game shows that season-to-season comparisions cannot be totally trusted, mainly because the order of the games affects the momentum, and run of the ball can affect any single result.
But Liverpool still have plenty of 2008/09 draws to turn into wins, to get back on course for more than 86 points, if such a high tally is needed this year. And take a team like Arsenal: Liverpool could afford to lose against them this season, but if they win the other they'll end up with more points than from the two draws last time.
And anyway, how many teams win at Chelsea two years running? For the last 20 years, any kind of victory there has been a rare event. Defeat in Italy and defeat at Chelsea are a million miles away from the results that unduly bother me. And October was always going to be a hellishly difficult month.
Remember, Liverpool have gone to two of the current top three sides in the country. That is far from a balanced fixture list, and that provides me with a calming optimism. There are far tougher games still to be played at Anfield, but it was the supposedly easy ones that caused problems last time around.
There's no denying that Liverpool have contributed to some of their own reversals this season, but there are other issues, too.
I have to say that I haven't been too impressed with the refereeing this season, and had mentioned the timekeeping issue even before United got their inexplicable never-ending injury time to avoid what should have been two more dropped points, in the Manchester derby. Liverpool just don't get those unfathomable decisions in their favour.
Liverpool failed to get even the allotted added time at Spurs to claw back a point, and conceded the crucial second against Villa when there was no earthly reason to go beyond the one added minute.
Penalty decisions aren't going the Reds' way either, with about four stonewallers waved away, and lesser offences, like Carragher's shoulder barge on Zavon Hines less of a foul than the clattering of Voronin at Spurs, where the Reds were poor but could have scraped the kind of lucky draw United got at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Skrtel was pushed over by Drogba and nothing was given, yet the Chelsea striker has an air ambulance on standby every time he sneezes.
While I don't believe that these things even themselves out (after all, that would need a conscious decision by some omniscient being), you have to hope that the Reds' luck improves in line with that of their rivals.
While on the subject of luck and fairness, I have total sympathy for Lucas Leiva in terms of the press he gets. The whole team plays poorly in Italy, yet he gets singled out. While I felt he really struggled in the first half of last season, I see no such problems this time around. But still the stigma remains attached.
There are probably reasons for this. If he was English, he'd be lauded for his workrate, feverish closing down and generally very good (if unspectacular) use of the ball.
Because he's Brazilian, he has to fit a stereotype. That doesn't sit easily with people with no imagination. I've seen some idiotic comments in the press like he's "the most un-South American player I've ever seen"; as if, as a Brazilian, you have no worth unless you're a stepover king.
At Stamford Bridge, Liverpool actually won the battle of the midfield, and Lucas played a massive part in that. The Reds lost largely because Chelsea's strikers had a better day in front of goal, and not because of the balance of play (dictated by Lucas and Mascherano) or chances created.
As a psychology student helpfully pointed out to me during a discussion on my new website: "The 'truth effect' comes when a message is repeated enough, then the receiver of the message will accept it as fact."
Lucas made many positive contributions to the Hull thrashing, with two forceful, direct forward passes leading to goals two and five, as well as getting to the byline for the sixth. But along with not being stereotypically Brazilian, he is criticised for not being Xabi Alonso. Which, to me, seems grossly unfair.
Liverpool had their best-ever scoring start to the season, so how can Lucas, a league ever-present, be to blame for a "lack of creativity" that clearly isn't there?
I thought Liverpool were creative against Chelsea, too, without ever tearing through them, but then this is a world-renowned defensive set-up, at home, and by the end, forced to defend in great numbers. Liverpool were no worse than in the fixture a year ago, but crucially, Chelsea were much improved, and the Reds didn't have that crucial slice of luck.
I therefore believe that the 'truth effect' to be very much in evidence with Lucas, as it so clearly is with zonal marking.
Watch Liverpool defend a set-piece, and count the times 'zonal marking' is discussed in negative terms. Watch a team defend man-marking, and you'll only get "great run/great cross/great header" if the ball goes in.
I've been saying this very thing for years, but almost collapsed when Gordon Strachan pointed this out after the Sunderland vs Wolves game. Then again, he's managed at the top level using both man-marking and zonal, and he said that both work equally well, and that it just depends on what your players are comfortable with. How dare he talk such sense?
Against Chelsea, I noticed that after every excellent Mascherano challenge or even just harrying, there was a positive mention from the commentators, but Lucas, who made loads of excellent contributions was only mentioned after mistakes. Go and watch the game again, and you'll see this to be true.
The truth effect: bear it in mind next time you find yourself being told something time and again, its message driven into your brain like a hypnotist's mantra.