Mohamed Salah ended his worst scoring run in a Liverpool shirt to decide a hard-fought victory at Huddersfield that helped his side keep up with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Salah’s 50th goal in English football came courtesy of a smart low finish, as he put away Xherdan Shaqiri’s through ball in the 24th minute to dampen a mood matching Huddersfield’s bright start.
The Egypt forward was visibly buoyed, having failed to score in his previous four appearances, but as a team it was Huddersfield who reacted more positively as they twice came close to equalising before half-time.
Captain Jonathan Hogg smashed a long-range drive against the post before Alex Pritchard was marginally offside when lifting a finish past Alisson, while a penalty appeal for handball against James Milner was turned down.
After the break, Laurent Depoitre saw a header well held with his side’s first shot on target, while Salah fired wide when presented with a tough chance to finish at speed on the counter attack.
There was a league debut for the Reds’ £39m former Monaco midfielder Fabinho but even with his introduction Liverpool failed to ever totally assume control of a tie substitute Steve Mounie almost snatched away from them.
With five minutes to play, the Benin striker rashly blazed over from inside the box after a cross spilled through unconvincing blocks from Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren.
Victory sees Jurgen Klopp’s side move level on points with fellow joint leaders Manchester City. They trail Pep Guardiola’s side on goal difference, with the defending champions 10 goals ahead.
Huddersfield, who last season defied the odds to avoid relegation, remain without a victory this term and are now two points from safety and 17th.