Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert scored for Liverpool, who increased the pressure on Paul Lambert by pounding away at struggling Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The 2-0 win was Liverpool’s third-straight away from Anfield, and moves the club to within a point of No. 6 Arsenal and two of No. 5 Tottenham.
Villa is in 14th place with 22 points, and sits just three points above the drop zone.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
Alberto Moreno appeared to have beaten Brad Guzan to give Liverpool an 18th minute lead, but was ruled offside. It negated a strong, low, left-footed strike.
Borini put one on the board, though, diving feet-first and karate-kicking Jordan Henderson’s cross past Guzan in the 26th minute.
But hold on, as Villa found some of its game in the second half. Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann forced Simon Mignoley into a pair of nice saves as the clock struck 61.
[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]
The Reds dodged plenty of bullets in the second half, with Weimann whiffing on a pretty good close-range lay-off from Benteke in the 69th minute. Then Benteke laid out to side volley a cross wide a minute later.
But Lambert neatly touched around Aly Cissokho before firing a low, bounding ball past Guzan to make it 2-0 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Liverpudlian dove into the visiting faithful in celebration.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Baker, Cissokho, Sanchez, Westwood (Gil, 59′), Delph, Cleverley (Weimann, 59′), Agbonlahor, Benteke
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Markovic, Moreno (Enrique, 71′), Lucas, Henderson, Sterling (Ibe, 85′), Coutinho, Borini (Lambert, 71′)
Goal: Borini (27′), Lambert (79′)