On a fiery Anfield return for Steven Gerrard, a penalty from Mo Salah was enough to propel Liverpool past an ever-improving Aston Villa side.
The Egyptian was a threatening blur without creating a clear cut chance until he was toppled in the box by Tyrone Mings. The low finish was assured and Liverpool never looked back.
Regardless of the outcome, new manager Gerrard will be pleased with how his team performed.
They’ve looked much more assured in possession since he took over, and they’ll be a bigger threat in the future.
This was always going to be a free hit for his team, but Gerrard would have been desperate to give a good account of himself.
The new Aston Villa manager was warmly welcomed back to Anfield, but his generosity of spirit lasted only until the first whistle.
It was all about the result for Liverpool, who had seen Manchester City extend their lead by defeating Wolves in the early kick-off.
Jurgen Klopp will believe his team should have scored more goals, but this was an emotional occasion that simply had to be completed.
Gerrard will never be satisfied with a defeat, but he can be pleased with how far he has dragged this team in five games.