A late second-half goal by Liverpool's Fernando Torres ensured the Reds from Merseyside left the Stadium of Light with all three points.
The Black Cats fought hard for most of the game but were undone by the Spaniard for the only score of the game in the 83rd minute.
Damien Plessis was given a surprise start ahead of Xabi Alonso by Rafael Benitez, but taken off as the second half started.
Sunderland's new signings Pascal Chimbonda, Teemu Tainio, and El Hadji Diouf put on a rather impressive show on debut, but were unable to carve out a point for the home team.
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard played all 90 minutes, which is a boost for the Reds after his recent injury.
However, new signing Robbie Keane had a rather quiet outing.
There you have it: the second 1-0 outcome for the Top 4 after Arsenal's 1-0 victory over West Brom.
I'll be back later for Chelsea vs. Portsmouth, Manchester United vs. Newcastle, and Aston Villa vs. Manchester City.