Liverpool Ladies' defence of their Super League title got off to a perfect start after they overcame Manchester City Women 1-0 at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes on Thursday night.
Natasha Dowie picked up her goal-scoring form from last season with her 70th minute strike proving to be the difference between the two sides.
Before kick-off City paid their own tribute as part of the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, with captain Steph Houghton presenting the Liverpool side with a floral tribute shaped in the number '96'.
A minute's silence was also observed shortly before the game got underway.
The defending champions adopted a shoot on sight policy in the opening exchanges.
New signing Gemma Davison came close to opening her account for the club on nine minutes when her effort from just outside the box was dragged wide.
The Reds came even closer just a couple of minutes later when last season's top-scorer Dowie was presented with a glorious opportunity one-one-one. However goalkeeper Andrea Worrall was equal to Dowie's effort, diving to her right to make an impressive save before Fara Williams scuffed the follow-up wide.
Davison then came close again but her attempt this time was drilled into the side netting. Barely a minute later Williams was in again but she couldn't get any nearer as her effort too went wide.
The Reds thought they'd taken the lead on 25 minutes when after the City goalkeeper Worrall smashed the ball against Kate Longhurst, the ball rebounded into the net. But the referee cut celebrations short and disallowed the goal after she penalised the winger for handball, showing her a yellow card in the process.
City's first real effort of the night came on 36 minutes when former Red Jill Scott tested Libby Stout from 20 yards out, which the American international fumbled around the left-hand post.
The visitors came close again just three minutes later when a slip in the Liverpool defence allowed an unmarked Isobel Christiansen to time her half-volley well, only for Stout to tip it wide.
Dowie had another glorious chance just before the break after a lovely side pass from the right by Longhurst put the attacker in space, but her chance crept wide of the far post.
The home side started the second half strongest and just five minutes in Davison came close again after a cross from Lucy Bronze was superbly controlled by the former Arsenal winger before she twisted and turned inside the box. However her shot was blocked off the line by City captain Steph Houghton and went out for a corner.
The new signing seemed at home in the red of Liverpool displaying a vast array of delicate touches and acute awareness of all that was going on around her.
On 56 minutes Johnston came close for City when a half-volley from the edge of the box was headed clear by Reds captain Gemma Bonner.
Some minutes later Bonner was called upon again after Toni Duggan had the best chance of the night for the visitors. After seizing upon a low ball, the former Everton striker's first time shot was blocked by Stout before eventually being cleared by the centre-half.
The home side eventually made the breakthrough with just 20 minutes remaining when a long ball from the back courtesy of Bronze found the feet of Dowie who evaded the offside trap before calmly slotting with her right foot past Worrall.
With just 10 minutes remaining, Liverpool almost doubled their lead when Davison again charged down the right-hand side before cutting in and picking out Kate Longhurst who fired narrowly wide.
City almost snatched a point on 84 minutes when Duggan drifted in from the left before curling a shot which was palmed away by Stout.
However Matt Beard's side held on for a narrow victory which sets them up nicely ahead of Sunday' trip to Chelsea.
Liverpool Ladies: Libby Stout, Martha Harris (Becky Easton), Corina Schroder, Fara Williams (Hannah Dale), Gemma Bonner (c), Lucy Bronze, Kate Longhurst, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie, Gemma Davison, Amanda Da Costa.