Liverpool continued their Premier League title charge as they overcame Sunderland after suffering a scare.
With the Reds thwarted early on, Santiago Vergini was fortunate to stay on the pitch after fouling Luis Suarez.
But Steven Gerrard drew the full reward from the free-kick by finding the top corner from 23 yards.
Daniel Sturridge curled in his 20th league goal but after Ki-sung Yueng’s header, the hosts held on to move above Manchester City into second place.
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard speaking to Sky Sports: “You have to give credit to Sunderland, they have come to make it difficult for us, they were difficult to break down. We need to learn that when we go two goals ahead we can’t concede. We need to hold on and pass it better.
“I don’t usually get a go at free-kicks! Luis Suarez has been magnificent from set-pieces so I leave them to him but sometimes the keeper expects him to take it so you take another option.
“It doesn’t matter who gets the goals, we all deserve credit because we are in fantastic position but we haven’t won anything yet.”