Reds make most of Pantsil panic
Liverpool's renaissance under Kenny Dalglish continued as a 1-0 victory over Fulham lifted them into their highest Barclays Premier League position of the season.
It was not the most notable of performances, although there were plenty of spells of good football from the hosts, as John Pantsil's second-half own goal divided the teams.
But the Reds registered back-to-back wins for the first time since early November to move up to seventh, within six points of fifth-placed Tottenham, and maintain the feeling of optimism which arrived when Dalglish replaced Roy Hodgson earlier this month.
Liverpool's last match had prompted much debate - and subsequent sexism controversy - about female referee's assistant Sian Massey, who made the correct call in not flagging Raul Meireles offside for the Reds' opening goal at Molineux.
After six minutes, however, male counterpart Mick McDonough got it wrong when he raised his flag as Fernando Torres ran on to Raul Meireles' pass to slot the ball past David Stockdale.
Stockdale was called into action again in the 25th minute when Glen Johnson, playing at left-back, cut inside to unleash a right-footed shot which the keeper tipped over.
Clint Dempsey forced Jose Reina into a low save just before the half-hour but the Spain international should not have been given a chance seconds later when Andrew Johnson cut the ball back to the penalty spot but Moussa Dembele hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper.
However, Liverpool took the lead in the 52nd minute. Dirk Kuyt's interception of Dempsey's pass touched the ball into the path of Torres on the edge of the penalty area and he unleashed a shot which deflected off Brede Hangeland and rebounded back off the post.
Pantsil and Stockdale got in the way of each other in the resulting melee with the defender, under pressure from Meireles, slicing an attempted clearance over his own goalline.
Late on Meireles displayed his rarely-seen defensive duties by hacking Hangeland's header off the line with the goalkeeper beaten. Liverpool hung on, something they have struggled to do in the past, as Dalglish's influence continued to be felt.