Villa and Liverpool both squandered chances throughout and with Mohamed Salah on the bench, Diaz, Diogo Jota and Mane had to try for another breakthrough.
It was the latter who finally combined with Diaz second half to score his 15th goal in the Premier League, the Senegalese returning home meters after his team-mate’s perfect cross.
Three vital points for the Reds keep pressure on City, although Klopp is now turning his attention to Saturday’s FA Cup final with Chelsea, hopes Fabinho is fit to play after having sent off with what looked like a injury in the first half.
FULL-TIME: Liverpool had to withstand plenty of Villa pressure but Klopp’s men hold on to take a vital three points.
- It is now the turn of City, who will face Wednesday night.
- 90th min: Liverpool are still living dangerously.
- Buendia has a chance but his header from the near post from a corner is glanced over.
- 86th min: A few seconds after forcing Alisson into a save from a tight angle, the striker has the in the back of the net but is ruled offside he barely celebrates knowing that the flag was going up.
- 84th min: Keita almost makes up for his mis-kick in the first half with a spectacular half-volley from outside the box but it flys just wide.
- 82nd min: A last throw of the dice for Gerrard his team as he sends Bertrand Traoré in the lead to replace Watkins.