Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2.
- Liverpool win fourth league game out of five
- Villa go seven league games without win
- Fabio Borini scores first goal of the season
Liverpool increased the pressure on Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert by beating his struggling side to secure a third away league win in succession.
The threat of a pre-match protest by Villa fans did not materialise but the home side went behind when Fabio Borini prodded in a Jordan Henderson cross.
Christian Benteke had a chance to level but his powerful strike was saved.
Liverpool survived a number of other scares before Rickie Lambert arrowed in an 18-yard shot to secure victory.
The Reds have lost only one of their last 10 league games and earned the three points without captain Steven Gerrard, who had not been risked after going off with a tight hamstring during last Saturday's win at Sunderland.
Villa, who improved after the break, failed to score for a fifth league game on the trot and they are now three points above the relegation zone, with their next two top-flight games against Arsenal and Chelsea.
Some Villa fans had threatened a protest by boycotting their seats in the Holte End for the first eight minutes of the match to mark each year that Randy Lerner had owned the club.
Villa's Lambert had urged against such action and the supporters appeared to have listened to his request with hardly an empty seat to be seen.
However, the home side found themselves behind after striker Borini guided home an inviting Henderson cross to score his first goal of the campaign.
Villa could have fallen further behind but Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling failed to take two promising chances for the Reds.
Keeper Brad Guzan also kept Villa in the game when he tipped a Martin Skrtel header against the post.
Carles Gil, signed by Villa this week, came on to make his debut and his arrival signalled a spell of pressure from the home side.
However, Benteke had a well-struck half-volley saved by fellow Belgium international Simon Mignolet, while Baker headed a corner just over.
Benteke also volleyed wide before Lambert gave Liverpool the breathing space they needed by scoring his third goal of the season with a low shot into the bottom corner.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers:
"It was always going to be a difficult game. Aston Villa are a hard team to try to break down but we were very complete in our performance.
"We passed the ball around really well at times and our counter-attack was very good and we probably should have exploited that more than we did.
"Importantly, when we had to defend at important moments of the game we stood up to the challenge."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:
"The second half I thought we were excellent. I didn't think there was too much in it in the first half.
"We lost a poor goal but the second half was relentless pressure from us and their goalkeeper has probably kept them in it with the save from Christian Benteke.
"I don't think anyone could fault us for the way we played in the second half.
"We just have to keep doing what we did today, keep getting the chances and they will go in."
- 5OkoreBooked at 52mins
- 24C Sánchez
- 15WestwoodSubstituted forGilat 59'minutes
- 8CleverleySubstituted forWeimannat 59'minutes
- 18MorenoSubstituted forEnrique Sanchez Diazat 71'minutes
- 31SterlingSubstituted forIbeat 85'minutes
- 29BoriniSubstituted forLambertat 71'minutesBooked at 81mins
- 3Enrique Sanchez Diaz
- Mark Clattenburg
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2.
Attempt saved. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Jordon Ibe.
Attempt missed. Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Fabian Delph with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by José Enrique (Liverpool).
Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Emre Can (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by José Enrique.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Alan Hutton.
Substitution, Liverpool. Jordon Ibe replaces Raheem Sterling.
Attempt missed. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Christian Benteke.
Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).
Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Aston Villa 0, Liverpool 2. Rickie Lambert (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Brad Guzan.
Attempt saved. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Enrique.