A wave of relief flew around Anfield at the final whistle.
This was a rarity for Kopites – a visit to L4 that had to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Liverpool made painfully hard work by defeating Brighton. It was scrappy, it was incoherent and it was far from convincing.
The atmosphere was as flat as the fault-strewn performance provided by Jurgen Klopp's side.
But, crucially, the Reds found a way to win when Mohamed Salah's first half of the strike extended their perfect start to the campaign.
The ability to crush victories when you're not around is the key to every title challenge, and Liverpool has shown that they can do just that last week.
The Reds cashed Manchester City's surprise at Wolves to climb to the top of the table. That does not count for much at this stage, but this is a team that has been built to ensure that they have a real chance to stay there.
Liverpool no longer has to perform at its best to win matches because Klopp has added defensive resilience to attacking flair.
Remarkably, the Reds scored 20 league goals without answer to Anfield dating from February and that this is the best run of the club since 1987/88.
Three games, three wins, three precious clean sheets. Alisson Becker has to get the ball out of the net.
While others lost their heads on Saturday night, the new No 1 of the Reds stayed ice cold.
No wonder Liverpool was willing to break the bank to sign this summer from Roma. The £ 65 million custodian got a good out of the blade when the replacement Pascal Gross had stood by to give the Seagulls a share of the loot.
Alisson feels so comfortable with the ball at his feet and carries his penalty stroke with a roaming command. He keeps track of the accounts. The upgrade is huge.
There were other striking displays with Joe Gomez who grew in profile alongside Virgil van Dijk. The young center back will switch a bit, even when Dejan Lovren is fit after the international break.
Before them Gini Wijnaldum excelled again in the role of the midfield. The Dutchman misplaced only one of his 76 passes and put in a tireless service.
After having mentioned an unchanged line-up for the third consecutive week, Klopp cut off an irritated figure on the sidelines early as Liverpool slowly came out of the pitfalls.
The Reds dominated possession and territory predictably, but the pressure was not maintained because the passes were repeatedly lost.
They should have had the breakthrough when Salah was outsmarting Sadio Mane, but with Mathew Ryan rooted on the spot where the Senegal international, who had a strange odd out, beat him wide.
The atmosphere was as low as football. It was as if Anfield was just waiting for the expected demolition job.
Roberto Firmino seemed determined to take advantage of when he aimed for a goal for Andy Robertson, but Ryan replied with an impressive save. The Brazilians are waiting for a first goal of the season.
The Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick flowed from the pub after Naby Keita caused panic in Brighton's backline with a rising run.
The goal Liverpool longed for eventually came in the middle of the first half.
The Reds were grateful to the tenacity and desire of James Milner, who went into Yves Bissouma to win back the possession.
Brighton was left to Mane and Firmino and moved quickly to Salah's feet. The Egyptian Winger sent an ice-cold first-time finish in the bottom corner of the box's edge.
Salah has now scored 29 goals in 29 appearances for Liverpool at Anfield in all leagues.
De Kop paid tribute to their icon and Wijnaldum got the same honor after some show-sailing with keepy uppies.
Wijnaldum threatened to add to the Reds record, but after he had cleverly changed the box, Ryan turned his attack around. The Australian keeper has again thwarted the Reds shortly after Mane had contact with the center of Robertson.
On the other hand, Gomez won his physical fight with Glenn Murray, while Alisson was alert and decisive when called.
The Brazilian No 1, who comfortably dealt with the case of Anthony Knockaert, rushed forward to tackle Solomon March and then came from his line in a crowded box to secure a corner.
Hearts were in the mouth when he started with the ball at his feet and was closed by Glenn Murray but he got away with it.
Liverpool slowed the second half and Brighton wasted a golden opportunity to restore parity.
After Murray had harassed himself, Gomez's attempt to drop friendly fell to Knockaert, but he cut broadly with the net gap. It was a massive sale.
Fortune was not exactly a supporter of the Reds with Firmino who was punished bizarre after being crushed by Ryan, while the keeper tried to tackle a high ball.
There was a penalty for handball against Shane Duffy, but that would have been tough.
With the shortage still so small, Brighton grew in confidence, and when Liverpool lost its fear levels in the stands, it began to rise.
Klopp was looking for new legs with the introduction of Captain Jordan Henderson for Keita and Daniel Sturridge quickly followed for Mane.
The nerves chattered, but Alisson was impetuous. After he got into trouble through the backpass of Van Dijk, he nonchalantly lifted the ball over the fast-flowing Knockaert and checked before returning it to the Dutchman.
Anfield reacted with a standing ovation, but the reaction was less enthusiastic shortly afterwards when Alisson decided to beat Murray instead of wiping out his lines and almost lost them.
A second goal seemed to rarely come in. Firmino fired directly at Ryan, before Alexander-Arnold just shot after a smart pass from Robertson.
Two minutes after time, the Reds were grateful for the brilliance of Alisson when he pulled out the head of Gross.
It was not nice, but Liverpool did the job.
Liverpool : Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Matip 89), Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita (Henderson 66), Salah, Mane (Sturridge 79), Firmino
Not used : Mignolet, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri
Brighton Ryan, Montoya, Duffy, Balogun, Bong, Stephens, Propper, Bissouma (Gross 79), Knockaert (Jahanbakhsh 75), Murray, March (Locadia 75).
Not used : Button, Kayal, Suttner, Bernardo.
Referee Chris Kavanagh
attendance : 53.294
Goals : Salah 23
Bookings : Balogun, Alexander-Arnold.
Man of the match : Gini Wijnaldum. Another impressive show of the Dutchman.