Luis Suarez marked his Premier League return with two goals as Liverpool defeated Sunderland 3-1 on Sunday.
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring in controversial circumstances as he appeared to inadvertently handle over the line before Suarez ensured the visitors held a two-goal advantage at the break courtesy of a close-range finish.
And, though Sunderland rallied following a Emanuele Giaccherini goal early in the second period, Liverpool sealed the three points late on as Suarez scored thanks to a Sturridge assist for the second time in the game.
The result moves the Merseyside club to second in the English top flight, and gets Brendan Rodgers' team back to winning ways following consecutive defeats against Southampton and Manchester United.
Liverpool named an unchanged team from their narrow midweek defeat at Old Trafford in the League Cup, with Rodgers choosing to stick with the 3-5-2 formation that served his side well in Manchester.
Sunderland, meanwhile, made four changes from their cup outing, with Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini the most notable omission as Jozy Altidore returned in attack.
Suarez was handed his first league start after his 10-match ban, and he made an instant impression on the match as he drove narrowly wide from the edge of the area early on.
Liverpool in fact had the ball in the Sunderland net in the first 10 minutes, but Martin Skrtel saw the linesman's flag raised for offside after he had side-footed the rebound from a Steven Gerrard free-kick into the roof of the goal.
An entertaining midfield scrap ensued after that disappointment for Liverpool, but Sunderland were the next go close to scoring amid the melee. Sebastian Larsson almost made the most of an arguably fortunate free-kick award, curling a brilliant effort onto the bar with former team-mate Simon Mignolet looking beaten.
The visitors had ridden their luck to remain level, and were the recipients of yet another slice of good fortune at the other end of the pitch moments later. Gerrard found Sturridge with a corner delivery from the left-hand side and, though the striker misjudged his attempted header, the ball ricocheted in off his arm to give Liverpool the lead.
Just eight minutes later, Rodgers' side had their second, and it came - perhaps inevitably - from returning forward Suarez. A fabulous cross-field ball from Gerrard allowed Sturridge to make ground on the right-hand side, and the striker's poke across goal provided his Uruguayan colleague with a tap-in from close range.
Liverpool had little trouble in taking their two-goal lead into the break, but the away side received a rude awakening early in the second as Sunderland pulled one back. Mignolet failed to keep hold of a Ki Sung-Yueng effort from the edge of the box, and Giaccherini reacted quicker than the visitors' defenders to poke the ball home.
The goal buoyed Sunderland's fans, with the increased noise inside the Stadium of Light adding vigour to the hosts' counter-attacks.
But Liverpool looked the bigger threat, and they came close to doubling their lead on two occasions as Victor Moses' inswinging cross drifted narrowly wide before Suarez should have done better in getting onto a cross from the left.
The 26-year-old eventually got his second, however, as he passed the ball home after Sturridge unselfishly squared following a swift counter-attacking move late on.
|23||E. Giaccherini||52' 59'|
|Coach: K. Ball|
|Ameobi extends Newcastle deal and heads for Cardiff|
|U.S. women celebrate World Cup victory with LA rally|
|Atletico agree Vietto deal|
|Silva appointed Olympiacos head coach|
|Presidential candidates unsure of Turan´s Barca switch|
|Toure keen to bounce back from ´disappointing´ campaign|
|El Salvador v Canada: Floro targets Gold Cup learning curve|
|Juve complete Zaza swoop|
|Costa Rica v Jamaica: Borges confident Wanchope´s men are ready|
|Marseille snare Sarr|
|Italy coach Conte to stand trial in match-fixing case|
|Castan keen to repay Roma´s faith|
|Rami thrilled to reunite with ´best coach´ Emery at Sevilla|
|Lusitans v West Ham: Tomkins seeks to silence minnows|
|Kagawa shines as Dortmund hit six in Japan|
|Alonso tips Gerrard for Galaxy glory|
|Firmino seeks self-improvement with Liverpool|
|Buffon bids farewell to Pirlo|
|Sterling named Europe´s ´most valuable´ young player|
|Casillas´ agent reveals Porto offer|
|Southampton bring in Martina|
|Dundee United accept Celtic´s Ciftci bid|
|McArthur pens new Palace deal|
|Bartomeu rules out Barca move for Pogba this year|
|Spurs have to be better now - Bentaleb|
|Milner expects central role|
|Micronesia thrashed again, this time 46-0|
|Marchisio: I cannot be Pirlo´s heir|
|Inter aiming for Champions League return - Icardi|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Brondby and Slovan to protect handsome leads|
|Bentaleb pens new long-term deal at Tottenham|
|Barca agree Turan deal|
|FIFA bans Mayne-Nicholls|
|United States v Honduras: Klinsmann demands improvement ahead of Gold Cup opener|
|CONCACAF institutes extensive reforms in wake of FIFA corruption scandal|
|Mauri completes Milan move|
|City sign Turkey striker|
|Women´s World Cup final draws huge US TV ratings|
|My first Chelsea team better than current crop - Drogba|
|Bertrand set for lay-off after knee surgery|
|New five-year Juve deal for Marchisio|
|Allegri extends Juve contract|
|Koeman reiterates Alderweireld interest|
|Valencia bag Bakkali|
|New York City FC complete Pirlo capture|
|Panama v Haiti: Collat ready to challenge the best of CONCACAF|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression|
|FIFA sanctions Yemen for fielding ineligible player|
|Toulouse rubbish Ben Yedder exit reports|
|Mourinho ´knows what he´s doing´ with Falcao signing|
|Watford shell out club-record fee for Capoue|
|Braafheid signs Lazio extension|
|Nani finalises Fenerbahce move|
|Liverpool confirm O´Driscoll appointment|
|Liverpool have to start better - Lucas|
|USA simply too good - Sasaki|
|Portland Timbers 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Jewsbury wins it in stoppage time|
|No move yet for Van Persie|
|Lloyd wins Golden Ball, Silver Boot awards|
|Mascherano: I never grabbed Banega|
|Dunga requested Brazil not appeal Neymar´s suspension|
|United States 5 Japan 2: Lloyd stars with hat-trick|
|Fiorentina deny Inter criticism|
|Nani relishing Fenerbahce opportunity|
|Newcastle hold talks over Northampton youngster|
|Cuadrado´s agent plays down Chelsea exit rumours|
|Liverpool´s Alberto set for Deportivo loan|
|Leverkusen suffer surprise defeat, Stuttgart hit six|
|Inter ´dismayed´ at Fiorentina vice-president´s Salah Twitter outburst|
|Blaszczykowski ruled out of Dortmund´s Asia tour|
|Gerrard gets the beers in for LA Galaxy fans|
|De Gea coy over Real links|
|Former Brazil star Carlos handed Delhi reins|
|Ciftci will not push through Celtic switch – agent|
|In-demand Mitrovic considering Roma offer|
|Lehmann calls on Cech to ´get over´ Chelsea|
|Marlos double sinks Monaco|
|Mauritius 0 South Africa 2 (agg 0-5): Bafana set up Angola qualifier|
|Keane relishing Gerrard arrival|
|Palace confirm Cabaye interest|
|Hamburg bring in Spahic after head-butt ban|
|Blatter hits out at France and Germany over World Cup votes|
|Sanchez: World Cup exit spurred Chile to Copa glory|
|Jojic makes Cologne switch, Santana move falls through|
|Carrillo keen to get going at Monaco|
|Micronesia thrashed 38-0 as Fiji triumph in Olympic qualifier|
|Schalke stunned by ´machine´ Caicara|
|MLS Review: Keane shines at Gerrard´s Galaxy unveiling|
|Counter-attacking the key for Japan|
|Jimenez happy at Atletico|
|Gerrard predicts ´successful future´ with Galaxy|
|Iniesta can´t see Real selling Ramos|
|Keshi sacked as Nigeria coach|
|Three finals, three defeats for Messi, Mascherano|
|Nani close to Fenerbahce move|
|Sampaoli revels in ´unbelievable joy´|
|Bravo: Copa victory a dream|
|Martino: Argentina should have won|
|Chile 0 Argentina 0 (4-1 on penalties): Hosts end trophy drought|
|Germany 0 England 1 (after extra time): England make World Cup history|