Liverpool striker David Ngog's goal nine minutes from time eventually broke the resistance of a determined Unirea Urziceni at Anfield in the Europa League, as the Reds ran out 1-0 winners.
With the visitors intent on soaking up plenty of pressure Rafael Benitez's side struggled to find the creativity to get past the massed Romanian ranks.
However, the Frenchman's close-range header meant the Reds have some breathing space as they head to Bucharest for next week's last-32 second leg.
The victory was only Liverpool's third in nine European fixtures since they hammered Real Madrid 4-0 in the last 16 of the Champions League 11 months ago - a disappointing run which contributed to their exit from Europe's elite-level competition in December.
They laboured for large parts of this clash, until with 81 minutes on the clock, Ngog headed home from five yards after Daniel Pacheco nodded Ryan Babel's cross into his path.