Eurosport announced the result and highlighted Liverpool's winning streak:
A stunning free-kick from captain Steven Gerrard opened the scoring before half-time, and Daniel Sturridge added a second after the break.
But while fans expected more goals, the Black Cats clawed their way back into the game, with substitute Ki Sung-Yueng scoring off a set piece and Lee Cattermole seeing his fantastic attempt denied by the crossbar.
In the end, the Reds were able to preserve their slim lead and come away with the win, albeit barely. The victory was the most tense game Liverpool have played in weeks, prompting a big reaction from the crowd when the final whistle blew, as reported by Melissa Reddy:
Seventh consecutive win that for #LFC, which is greatly appreciated by the home support. Loud applause & chants of 'One Brendan Rodgers' now— Melissa Reddy (@1stLadyOfFooty) March 26, 2014
Brendan Rodgers is wildly popular in Liverpool, but his colleague on the Sunderland bench has been questioned at nearly every turn by fans for months now. Wednesday night was no different.
With Ki completely changing the complexion of the game, people quickly started asking themselves why Gus Poyet didn't let him start the game to begin with.
Count Danny Higginbotham among them:
When you look at the subs Sunderland have made and the difference it's made you really have to question why he poyet didn't start this team— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) March 26, 2014
Rodgers praised Wednesday's opponents but felt like his team dominated the clash, via Liverpool's official Twitter account:
RODGERS: "You only have to look at Sunderland's cup runs to see they're a top side, yet we made them look average tonight."— Official LFC (@OfficialLFC) March 26, 2014
We Are Liverpool shared how the coach also went out of his way to praise the fans:
Rodgers: "I'd like to say a massive thank you to the supporters, they gave us an amazing welcome tonight."— We are Liverpool (@RedsOrDead) March 26, 2014
Via the EPL's Twitter account, Rodgers confirmed his team are enjoying their incredible run:
Finally, Victor Fagerstrom shared the coach's thoughts on the chance of his club hitting the 100-goal mark in a season:
Rodgers: "That'd be an incredible feat if we could achieve it (100 PL goals). I haven't been surprised by the number of goals we've scored."— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) March 26, 2014
The home fans were all over Poyet during the game, and The Anfield Oracle couldn't resist taking a shot at the Sunderland boss afterward:
Gus poyet called us a one man team, gerrrad and Sturridge ended up scoring. Ok gus.— The Anfield Oracle (@AnfieldOracle) March 26, 2014
Poyet said he was satisfied with the way his team played, even if the result didn't go their way, as shared by the EPL:
Gus Poyet on #LIVSUN: "Everything that was said before, it was going to be 4, 5, 6, 7 against us, but we frustrated them for a long time"— Premier League (@premierleague) March 26, 2014
Fans seemed mainly to be interested in his particular choice of fashion accessories:
Poyet also saw this game as a learning experience, prompting an ironic response from one fan:
With the win, Liverpool keep track of Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for the title, after the Citizens beat rivals Manchester United on Tuesday. The race for top of the table promises to be a tight one, although City hold the advantage due to their games in hand.
Sunderland, meanwhile, still trail Crystal Palace by three points for the last spot above the relegation zone. A close defeat will be tough to swallow, and it won't help Poyet shake off the criticism that is sure to continue coming his way.
Liverpool face a difficult match with Tottenham when competition resumes on Sunday, while Sunderland will host West Ham in a must-win match a day later.