Dirk Kuyt headed an 85th-minute winner to snatch a 1-0 victory over Sparta Prague in Kenny Dalglish's first European tie as Liverpool manager.
Both sides had squandered numerous chances in a scrappy Europa League round of 32 encounter but Liverpool's superior quality was eventually rewarded by the hard-working Kuyt.
David Ngog, Joe Cole and Raul Meireles had also gone close in front of a sell-out 42,949 crowd which further underlined the gathering momentum of Dalglish's new regime.
Sparta, backed by 3,000 of their own raucous fans, contributed fully to an eventful, if low-quality, clash but were eventually undone as Kuyt profited from a late corner.
The Reds' victory came at a cost, however, as defenders Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger were forced off with injuries.