Mohamed Salah scored his 14th Premier League goal of the season to give Liverpool a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, and ruin Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield.
The Egyptian powered a penalty past Emiliano Martinez on 67 minutes after he had been brought down by Tyrone Mings.
It was fitting reward for Liverpool, who dominated the match but had struggled to find a breakthrough until Salah struck.
Gerrard received rapturous applause from the home fans before the match but saw his Villa side up against it.
In the first half, Andrew Robertson had a header saved by Martinez, who denied Virgil van Dijk after the break, while Trent Alexander-Arnold also came close twice.
Villa came into the match after going behind, with Matthew Cash having a shot saved, but they left it too late to rescue a point.
The win leaves Liverpool in second on 37 points, one behind Manchester City, while Villa drop to 12th, on 19 points.
Liverpool: 16 Dec v Newcastle (H)
Aston Villa: 14 Dec v Norwich (A)