Liverpool ended a run of three winless Barclays Premier League matches with a battling 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers watched his team bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 UEFA Champions League loss at Basle in midweek.
Once more, Liverpool fell short of the dazzling attacking play they produced last season during the opening period on Saturday but Adam Lallana's superb first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time went some way to settling their nerves.
Dejan Lovren - like Lallana a close-season recruit from Southampton - fouled Saido Berahino for the in-form West Brom forward to convert a 56th-minute penalty.
But Jordan Henderson ensured parity did not last long and some of Liverpool's old swagger returned on the back of his clinical 61st-minute finish.
Striker Mario Balotelli was dropped to the bench as Rickie Lambert came in to lead the Liverpool attack, while Costa Rica international Cristian Gamboa made a first Barclays Premier League start at right-back for West Brom with on-loan Andre Wisdom unavailable to face his parent club.
Liverpool enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and Steven Gerrard drilled a free-kick against the West Brom wall after Sebastien Pocognoli came close to fouling Henderson inside the box.
A lofted pass from Martin Skrtel gave Lambert his first sight of goal, but Ben Foster displayed razor-sharp reactions in the West Brom goal.
By the midway point of the first half, West Brom had settled comfortably into the contest and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saved well in the 35th minute when Berahino ran at a back-peddling home defence to unleash a vicious, swerving strike.
Berahino headed over from close range as the interval approached and his frustration was compounded as Lallana put Liverpool ahead in the final minute of the first half.
The midfielder collected a return backheel from England team-mate Henderson and displayed a deft touch and balance before firing low across Foster.
Not for the first time in the afternoon, Lovren struggled against Berahino's speed and movement, and referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty after his challenge.
Berahino hammered home from the spot, but West Brom were only level for five minutes as Raheem Sterling regained his footing having gone to ground under Craig Gardner's challenge and fed Henderson to slot home.
Liverpool were determined not to give their visitors another route back into the contest, with Sterling to the fore, and the winger skipped past Joleon Lescott to draw a vital block from Pocognoli before recently introduced Balotelli then lashed wide.
A wonderfully whipped cross from Chris Brunt prompted a mistimed header by Berahino when well-placed, leaving him without the second goal his boundless energy perhaps deserved.
West Brom pressed in spirited fashion late on, while Foster saved with his legs in stoppage time to ensure Balotelli's wait for a first league goal for Liverpool goes on.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was very satisfying. We had to show big character today. West Brom were arriving here on the back of a number of good results. I thought the resilience of the players was fantastic and we were helped by the crowd because they realised the team needed a lift. It was a big win for us.
"All being well we'll have all the players back against QPR and that's important to us. Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen, we have missed his intensity and technical quality. When you lose someone like Luis Suarez it's going to take time to adjust, but the players here are magnificent, great quality and character, they had to dig in and got the result.
"We showed great potential against Tottenham and once we get all the players back and we can rotate the squad a bit better that will help us. It's been frustrating, we had to make changes in the summer, to strengthen the squad and we missed a world-class striker. We will get better as we go on."
West Brom head coach Alan Irvine: "I was disappointed in how we used the ball in the first half. I was disappointed we didn't show enough courage on the ball. I challenged the players to be braver at half-time and in the second half we gave Liverpool a difficult game. From our point of view, we've got a few things we're disappointed with."
|29 Nov 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|19 Oct 2014||v QPR (A)|
|01 Nov 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|23 Nov 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|
|02 Dec 2014||v Leicester (A)|
|08 Nov 2014||v Chelsea (H)|