Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero struck late as Premier League football champions Manchester City climbed within two points of table-topping Chelsea thanks to a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa.
Toure curled home a beautifully placed low shot in the 82nd minute before Aguero thundered in a second six minutes later after the visitors spurned a host of chances in what had been a dominant yet wasteful display.
City climbed to second with 14 points, one point ahead of third-placed Southampton and two behind Chelsea who host Arsenal in a London derby on Sunday.
Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson scored as Liverpool registered their first league win since August by grinding out a hard-fought 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.
Papiss Cisse struck twice to ease the growing pressure on under-fire Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew in a 2-2 draw against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Sunderland beat Stoke City 3-1 for their first league win of the season, Hull City beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to condemn Neil Warnock to his first league defeat since returning to the south London club and Ross Wallace scored deep into stoppage time as Burnley grabbed a 2-2 draw against Leicester City.
With creative maestro David Silva dictating City's attacks, chances were in regular supply, though their Bosnia forward Edin Dzeko was guilty of wasting three clear opportunities in the opening period.
The second half began at a frantic paste with Aguero hitting the post before Kieran Richardson was let down by a poor touch as he raced clear at the opposite end.
As a goalless draw beckoned Toure, criticised in recent months for a series of anonymous performances, was granted space on the edge of the area and dispatched a precise shot.
Aguero doubled the lead minutes later with a powerful shot from the edge of the area as City recorded their first league clean sheet since the opening day of the campaign.
"It is a fantastic win. Full credit to Villa for the way they played but in the second half we did the job," Toure told Sky Sports.
"The most important thing for me is to try my best. I need to work harder and continue going and the most important thing for me and the team is to repeat what we did last year.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers dropped Mario Balotelli after being critical of the Italy striker's shortage of goals following a lacklustre 1-0 Champions League loss at FC Basel in midweek.
A reinvigorated West Brom were rarely troubled before England international Lallana gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of halftime.
The 26-year-old exchanged passes with England team mate Henderson before dispatching a sharp finish low into the bottom corner for his first Liverpool goal.
West Brom started the second half brightly and restored parity after 56 minutes through Saido Berahino's fifth league goal of the season.
The 21-year-old coolly converted his penalty after he was felled by Dejan Lovren, despite the infringement appearing to occur outside the area.
The visitors continued to take the game to Liverpool but fell behind again after Henderson collected Raheem Sterling's pass and finished smartly.