(CNN) -- A half-time pep talk from a furious Arsene Wenger sparked a 2-1 victory for Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday to pile the misery on his Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benitez.
Liverpool led 1-0 at the break through Dirk Kuyt but a Glen Johnson own goal and a stunning Andrei Arshavin strike early in the second half gave the Gunners a deserved three points to re-ignite their English Premier League title challenge.
The win lifts them to three points behind second-placed Manchester United, with a game in hand, and six adrift of leaders Chelsea, who have not won in four games and were held 3-3 at home by Everton.
With defending champions United beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford by fourth-placed Aston Villa, both teams went into the Merseyside clash knowing victory could take them back into the mix.
Liverpool dominated the first half and could have been further ahead after the returning Fernando Torres missed a golden opportunity and had a penalty appeal for a challenge on Steven Gerrard turned down.
Arsenal hardly threatened, provoking Wenger to berate his men in the dressing room at half-time.
"The boss screamed at us like never before," Fabregas told Sky Sports.
"He said we did not deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt if we played like that."
The improvement was immediate with Fabregas playing a pass to Samir Nasri out on the right in space.
Jamie Carragher failed to clear the Frenchman's dangerous cross and the ball took a slight deflection off him before hitting the hapless Johnson and rolling into the untended net.
Arsenal continued to look the more dangerous and Arshavin, who scored four goals at Anfield last season to earn his team a sensational 4-4 draw, struck eight minutes later.
A cross from the right saw him elude Johnson with instant control before his first-time shot flew past Pepe Reina in the home goal off the right hand post.
With man of the match Thomas Vermaelen in fine form, Arsenal held out comfortably enough for a decisive victory which leaves Liverpool in seventh in the standings, five points adrift of fourth-placed Villa.
Benitez, who has seen his side win only three in 15 games,.was left perplexed by their second half collapse.
"In the first half we were really good, scored goal and were on top all the time," he told Sky Sports.
"Everything changed in the second half. We lost our confidence, they had more confidence. We were giving the ball away far too easily,."
He will now look to a midweek game against Wigan, the 50th anniversary of former legendary manager Bill Shankly's arrival at Liverpool, to gain a much-needed victory with their title challenge in tatters.