Liverpool moved up to second in the Premier League after Sadio Mane’s injury-time strike sealed a 1-0 win against derby rivals Everton.
Both sides came into the game at Goodison Park on Monday night on the back of welcome victories last midweek, with Liverpool thrashing Middlesbrough 3-0 at the Riverside Stadium and Everton coming from behind to defeat Arsenal 2-1 on their own patch.
The game failed to live up to its billing, however, with clear-cut chances at a premium and several players fortunate to still be on the pitch at the end as it descended into a niggling and scrappy Merseyside affair.
However, just as it appeared to be heading for a goalless draw, Mane popped up to score the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The three points see Liverpool go above Manchester City – six points off leaders Chelsea – while Everton remain in ninth.
Everton enjoyed the upper hand in a lively start to the game as Liverpool struggled to find any rhythm in an attacking sense.
However, for all of their hard work, the hosts failed to fashion an opening in the opening half hour and it allowed Liverpool to creep into the game.
And it was the Reds who almost created an opening in the 37th minute when Nathaniel Clyne took possession of the ball down the right and picked out the run of Divock Origi in the middle, but the forward’s hurried finish flew high and wide of the goal.
Everton’s first decent sight of goal came in the 44th minute when Ramiro Funes Mori was unmarked eight yards out from a corner on the right but headed wide of the near post.
Liverpool went close in the 50th minute when Roberto Firmino got in behind Funes Mori in the area but Maarten Stekelenburg denied him with a good stop.
Firmino then chipped the rebound back across the area where Sadio Mane failed with an attempted overhead kick as Adam Lallana got in his way, before Clyne saw his effort blocked as Everton scrambled the ball away from danger.
On 57 minutes, Leighton Baines was alert to take the ball off the foot of Mane inside the Everton area and diverted it just wide of the far post before colliding with Stekelenburg who required some treatment before being forced off six minutes later.
Ross Barkley was fortunate to see just a yellow card on 68 minutes when he put in a shocking tackle on Jordan Henderson that could easily have resulted in a sending off.
Substitute goalkeeper Joel Robles produced a great reaction save to prevent Liverpool taking the lead in the 80th minute as he dived to his left to parry away a Firmino volley following a James Milner corner.
Liverpool snatched the win during the eight minutes added on at the end when substitute Daniel Sturridge saw his effort rebound off the post and Mane reacted the fastest to tuck away the rebound from close range.
It could have ended 2-0 but Seamus Coleman scrambled a Firmino effort off the line with seconds remaining.