Liverpool have opened up an 11-point gap at the top of the Premier League when the old adage that title winners churn out victories even when not at their best had a special ring.
A couple of hours after champions Manchester City dropped two points at Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw, Liverpool scraped out a 2-1 win over Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy's Brighton and Hove Albion despite having goalkeeper Alisson red-carded.
The result means Juergen Klopp's Reds have equalled their longest unbeaten run in the top-flight, also going 31 games without defeat between May 1987 and March 1988.
It took the relentless leaders to 40 points from 14 games while City are on 29, the same as Leicester City who host Everton on Sunday.
Chelsea's grip on fourth place looks a little less tight as they suffered a first home defeat by West Ham United for seven years.
Aaron Cresswell's goal sealed a 1-0 win for the Hammers who had lost five of their past six games.
Frank Lampard's side have 26 points, six ahead of Jose Mourinho's resurgent Tottenham Hotspur who claimed successive league wins for the first time since April as they beat Bournemouth 3-2 with Dele Alli twice on the scoresheet.
Crystal Palace claimed a first league win in six games with a 2-0 victory at Burnley and third-from-bottom Southampton came from behind to beat bottom-side Watford 2-1, courtesy of a stunning free kick strike from James Ward-Prowse.
While Socceroos goalkeeper Ryan made some superb saves to keep Brighton in the contest at Anfield, Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk scored two first-half headers.
However, the second 45 minutes was anything but comfortable for the hosts as Alisson rushed out of his goal in the 76nd minute and blatantly handled an effort - a rush of blood that will rule him out of the Merseyside derby.
The immediate problem for Liverpool was that Lewis Dunk's quick-thinking free kick beat sub 'keeper Adrian.
Liverpool hung on but were breathing a sigh of relief at the final whistle.
"In the end, it (the red card) kept it a bit interesting but it's only important that we won the game and that's what we did, so I am really pleased about that," Klopp said.
City will be kicking themselves after twice leading at strugglers Newcastle through goals from Raheem Sterling (22nd) and Kevin de Bruyne (82nd), only for Jetro Willems (25th) and Jonjo Shelvey (88th) to respond.
"Everything happened so quickly in the last 10 minutes -- from elation to deflation," defender John Stones said.