Southampton’s mini-revival came to an abrupt halt at Anfield as Daniel Agger scored the only goal of the game to earn Liverpool only their third home win of the season.
The Saints had taken eight points from their last four games to lift themselves out of the relegation zone but were thrown back into trouble after falling to their first defeat since the start of November.
Brendan Rodgers will be delighted by his sides response to Wednesday’s defeat at Tottenham and made it back-to-back wins on Merseyside for the first time since September 2011.
Nigel Adkins’ men were hoping to start December as they’d ended the previous month and went close to scoring through Rickie Lambert’s 25-yard strike that flew wide of Pepe Reina’s post.
The hosts picked up afterwards and Glen Johnson slice a Luis Suarez cross wide before having a left-foot strike saved by Paulo Gazanigga after cutting in from the right flank.
Steven Gerrard then proved his worth to the Reds after receiving criticism during the week, seeing a 15-yard effort blocked by Morgan Schneiderlin and setting up prospective successor Jonjo Shelvey to crash a 20-yard strike off the crossbar.
The woodwork saved the visitors once again just before halftime as Suarez blasted his free kick off the bar but thew switched off in the aftermath and Agger was well placed to head home after Johnson returned the ball back into the box.
A 40-yard volley from Lambert that forced Reina into a save proved to be Southampton’s best opportunity after the break and, in truth, they should have fallen further behind.
Jose Enrique’s fierce effort was kept out by Gazanigga while Suarez fired wide as Liverpool comfortably saw the game out to move up to 11th in the table.