Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Aston Villa yesterday in an entertaining game that kept Paul Lambert's side entrenched in the Premier League relegation zone.
Christian Benteke put Villa ahead with a crisp strike in the first half but Jordan Henderson equalised early in the second period before Steven Gerrard claimed Liverpool's winner from the penalty spot.
Defeat left Villa third from bottom in the English top flight, but although they only trail fourth-bottom Wigan Athletic on goal difference, Roberto Martinez's side have a game in hand.
Villa had been bidding for a third successive win, but instead their momentum deserted them ahead of a run of games that includes daunting trips to Stoke City and leaders Manchester United.
"Everybody who was here today would say we were playing well enough and don't look like a team down at the bottom," Villa manager Lambert told Sky Sports. "If we keep going like we're going, we'll win more games than we don't."
Liverpool, meanwhile, closed to within five points of the European places, although the three teams immediately above them - Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton - all have a game in hand.
"Our character was outstanding today," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
"We played reasonably well in the first half, but we made a mistake and got punished by Benteke. We created chances in the first half.
"In the second half we upped the tempo in our game, we were excellent going forward, and defensively we were very solid. It's a terrific win for us."
Rodgers made four changes to the team beaten 3-1 by Southampton in Liverpool's previous outing, with Jose Reina, Jamie Carragher, Lucas Leiva and Henderson coming into the side.
Villa have been dogged by an inability to protect leads in the league this season and their fragility cost them once again as Liverpool turned the game around within 15 minutes of kick-off in the second half.
The visitors needed just two minutes to draw level, as Henderson deftly chipped advancing keeper Brad Guzan. Gerrard sealed the win on the hour with an inch-perfect penalty after Nathan Baker slid in on Luis Suarez.Topics: English Premier League Liverpool Aston Villa Paul Lambert Football in England