David Ngog blasted Liverpool into the fourth round of the Carling Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Tuesday night.
The French U21 ensured Rafa Benitez and co escaped Elland Road reputation in tact after a hard-fought contest.
It took more than an hour for the deadlock to be broken, but no one will remember how Liverpool had to toil should they go on to reach their first League Cup final since 2005.
Jamie Carragher and Javier Mascherano were the only survivors from Saturday's 3-2 victory over West Ham, though Benitez had the insurance of Fernando Torres, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard on his bench.
For much of the match it looked like they might be required as Leeds set about testing the first Premier League club to visit Elland Road since their top flight relegation in 2004.
Simon Grayson's side should have opened the scoring on 11 minutes when winger Robert Snodgrass maneuvered into space down the right and planted a cross onto the head of captain Jonathan Howson, who somehow powered into the stands.
The home fans had barely caught their breath when Jermaine Beckford nodded towards the bottom corner only to have his glory snatched by Luciano Becchio, who stuck out a superfluous leg to guide the ball home. The Elland Road faithful were in raptures until they spotted the linesman's flag raised high along the West Stand touchline. Becchio was offside and red faced; Beckford wanted answers.
Becchio, who scored 19 goals last term, almost made amends when he turned skipper-for-the-night Carragher before sending a 20-yard effort into the hoardings.
Liverpool had yet to settle, with only a single break to their name when Philipp Degen showed terrific pace to beat a man before finding lone striker Ngog. The Frenchman tried to return the pass and give Degen an unmissable opportunity but his cross was intercepted.
Finally Ryan Babel seized some initiative on 29 minutes with a probing run down field, outpacing two home defenders before having a low shot from a tight angle saved.
Leeds responded instantly through Snodgrass, who was causing Andrea Dossena problems down the right. His cross went beyond Diego Cavalieri towards Becchio, who was only denied after a superb last-ditch intervention from Carragher.
The closest Liverpool came during the first period followed an in-swinging free-kick from Fabio Aurelio on 44 minutes. Riera leaped high to meet the ball but his header was palmed away by Shane Higgs. The Spaniard flung his forehead at the rebound but was again denied.
The second period began with another great run by Snodgrass to beat Dossena, and a superb piece of defending was required from Mascherano to stop Beckford blasting beyond Cavalieri.
It was turning out to be a testing night for the visitors. Next Beckford broke free of Carragher and Kyrgiakos before forcing a fabulous close-range stop from Cavalieri.
"We're not famous anymore" sang the Elland Road patrons with glee, but tonight their side was rolling back the years.
All they needed now was a goal. Star striker Beckford came close with an acrobatic effort from Bradley Johnson's left-wing cross. Just over.
Seconds later their hearts sank as Liverpool took the lead. It was Mascherano, who'd been in the wars for much of the second period, who breached the Leeds backline on 65 minutes with a low ball into the box to Ngog. The young striker turned and sidefooted beyond Higgs with minimum fuss to claim his second goal of the campaign.
Leeds, who had given everything for an hour, struggled to lift themselves despite the best efforts of their fans. First Johnson and then Gerrard were duly sent on by Benitez to make their task even tougher.
Gerrard almost added a second in stoppage time with a shot that stung the hands of Higgs, while Babel also came close late on.