Liverpool reclaimed second position in the Barclays Premier League and closed the gap to leaders Chelsea to a single point with a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Steven Gerrard broke through the away side's stubbornness via an outstanding set-piece with moments remaining in the first half, then Daniel Sturridge doubled the advantage minutes after the restart with the help of a deflection.
Substitute Ki Sung-Yeung capitalised on too much space from a corner to the back post on 76 minutes to set up a nervy finale, but the hosts warded off the threat of a damaging equaliser to take the three points.
When teamsheets were handed in to the referee, the one bearing Liverpool's name confirmed that Brendan Rodgers had selected exactly the same starting XI and substitutes as the group that racked up a 6-3 victory over Cardiff City last weekend.
Glen Johnson and Philippe Coutinho both crashed long-range efforts high over the crossbar during the opening exchanges, before fans waited in expectancy as Luis Suarez braced over an inviting free-kick from 20 yards - but the ball travelled narrowly over the crossbar.
Next it was Sturridge's turn to train his sights from distance - off target from the right corner of the Sunderland area - and the No.15 was then unfortunate not to successfully redirect an outside-of-the-boot cross from his strike partner at the far post.
The Reds were dominating possession but finding the visitors difficult to break down, which prompted Joe Allen to unleash a drive after completing a one-two with Suarez, but that too was no danger to Vito Mannone between the posts.
Attempting to take matters into his own hands, the Reds' top scorer set off on a lengthy dribble which concluded with a left-footed punt shortly after the half-hour, but once again there was little to concern the Sunderland goalkeeper.
The home fans were in uproar when Santiago Vergini was shown merely a yellow card when he hauled down Suarez as he bore down on goal, but their annoyance quickly turned to joy when Gerrard stepped up to curl over the wall and past Mannone in the 39th minute.
Full reports: Official Liverpool FC
Image credits to Getty Images.