Don Hutchison took some of the pressure off Liverpool manager Graeme Souness with a goal ten minutes from time to seal victory against Sheffield Wednesday.
Hutchison's first Premier League goal for the club had more than a hint of luck about it, but was no more than Liverpool deserved after dominating the match against a Wednesday side with few attacking ambitions.
It came after Steve McManaman challenged in the air for a Mark Walters cross and broke the ball to Hutchison on the edge of the area. The youngster struck his shot down into the turf and it looped high in the air over Chris Woods before dropping just under the bar.
Liverpool kept their first clean sheet of the season with recent Danish international signing Torben Piechnik looking much more comfortable in central defence beside Steve Nicol.
Woods performed heroics in the Sheffield Wednesday goal to thwart Ian Rush and McManaman during one furious first-half scramble and was relieved to see shots by David Burrows and Walters fly just wide.
Wednesday skipper Chris Waddle had a muted match, proving woefully inaccurate on the rare occasions when he found room for a cross.
Their best first half chance came when Mark Bright turned Roland Nilsson's near post cross just wide. Carlton Palmer made a dreadful mess of Wednesday's only real scoring chance of the second half, blasting high into the stands when he was through on Bruce Grobbelaar.
Liverpool pressed forward powerfully in the second half, Rush heading one good opportunity wide and Woods gathering a long-range low drive from Walters at the second attempt.
But with Wednesday's defence in resolute mood, a goalless draw had seemed on the cards until Hutchison's priceless intervention gave Liverpool their first League victory since September 5.
A relieved Souness saluted his side for their performance in "a great game of football". And he insisted: "We've been playing well in the last few weeks - but defending like children. I couldn't have asked for any more in the last few weeks than I've been getting. Today we got the rub of the green. Wednesday had a chance which Carlton palmer missed and our goal wasn't spectacular but at the same time we deserved our three points from what I thought was a great game of football. Young players come into the team and want to feel they are wanted. We have the best crowd in the country and today they got behind the players as they have all season through all the criticism they have received."
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