He resigned the following season, Alan Hansen retired soon after and the club have never quite been the same since, the rebuilding job left to others who could not replicate the all-conquering formula that had lasted three decades.
Ian Rush scored in both fixtures for Liverpool and still cannot believe the contrast over such a short period.
"We felt invincible on the night we won 9-0," he recalls. "Every time we went out to play at that time, we thought we'd win. It didn't matter what the opposition did, we were confident we'd score more.
"We had eight goalscorers, which was as impressive as the result itself. It was John Aldridge's last game before he left for Real Sociedad. He came off the bench and scored too."
The hammering left deep scars on some Palace players. Centre-back Gary O'Reilly recalled how the game "basically did for Perry [Suckling]", Palace's goalkeeper, and badly wounded the manager. "Steve Coppell was immensely hurt. I don't think he was expecting to go to Anfield and win, but it was very damaging psychology."
But it was a different Palace in the FA Cup the following April, with Suckling replaced by Nigel Martyn and Coppell's side showing little respect for the reputation of those who had hammered them.
"Out of the carnage of the 9-0 defeat came a team," says O'Reilly. "We were born on the final whistle. There was no other way to go. If you look through that team and the personalities of those players, a lot of them don't have reverse in the gearbox. A lot of them only want to go one way, and that was the wonderful thing about the Palace team of that time."
After going 1-0 down when Rush lifted the ball over Martyn following O'Reilly's attempt to play the striker offside, a "spectacular failure" as he admits, Palace denied Liverpool the chance of winning the double, going through to the final with a 4-3 victory in a memorable cup tie.
"Palace completely changed their tactics in the semi-final," said Rush. "They man-marked the three of us in attack, myself, John Barnes and Peter Beardsley, and were much more physical. I had to go off after scoring the first goal with a broken rib, but it was when Palace had a go at us we started to make mistakes, particularly from set-pieces."
Alan Pardew scored the winner for Palace in extra-time, something he describes as one of the "best moments" of his career. "It was a very special day and a fantastic game of football. You always remember those games, they stick with you.
"It was a game that had everything and it captured the imagination because it was the FA Cup. We were the underdogs. To score the winning goal was an incredible feeling."
Although Liverpool consoled themselves with the league title a month later, an ageing, vulnerable defence was exposed. "No one at the time was thinking this was going to be the start of a more difficult period for the club," said Rush.
"If you'd have told us after that game, we'd be winning the last title for so long a few weeks later, we'd have laughed. It just felt like a one-off poor defensive performance.
"It's only when you look back now, you can see it started happening. There were echoes of the 4-4 draw with Everton in the FA Cup a year later Kenny's last game when again we were brilliant in attack but made mistakes defensively.
We were still good enough to outscore most other teams, but you can look back now and, defensively at least, you have to agree it was the start of our problems."
Palace will always cherish the memory of Villa Park, but they have enjoyed success at Anfield since in both the league and cup.
Liverpool continue to pursue a similarly epochal moment to turn their domestic fortunes in a favourable direction.
If Brendan Rodgers' side win on Saturday they will go back to the top of the Premier League, temporarily at least. Twenty-three years since that last title, it is as good a place as any to start.
Additional reporting by Daniel Johnson