After a string of first half saves from Black Cats keeper Vito Mannone left the Reds wondering whether the North East had taken a dislike to them but that mood was settled thanks to Benteke's strike just after the hour mark.
The only disappointment would've been he didn't add to his tally late on, again, but another winning goal under his belt, and Liverpool are firmly in contention for the Champions League places.
Here's how they rated from the top tier of the Stadium of Light:
Simon Mignolet - Good save to deny Defoe in the first half. Hairy moment was probably as a result of a missed foul. Seems to like centre back pairing ahead of him - 6
Nathaniel Clyne - Good outlet in the first half but needs to try and find a way to get a delivery away. Nice pass in the build-up to the opening goal. Positionally very good - 7
Dejan Lovren - Solid, feels like Klopp has told him he's not Franz Beckenbauer. Winning his battles and not doing anything stupid - 6
Mamadou Sakho - Very much like Lovren. Seems to like playing alongside him - 6
Alberto Moreno - One or two nervy moments. Seemed to want to kick someone all night. - 5
Emre Can - The phrase 'engage brain' comes to mind with his play, none more so than with his booking - 5
Jordan Henderson - Not fit, but clearly most intelligent player in first half. Run for corner routine evidence of that - 6
Adam Lallana - Busy as usual. Can open up the defence but a touch lets him down too much, but his intervention for Benteke's strike was pivotal. - 7
Coutinho - Looks lively as usual, maybe should choose his moments for his shots more carefully - 6
Roberto Firmino - Liverpool's best attacking threat in the first half. Unlucky not to have scored as Mannone pulled off two fine saves from him - one hitting the post. Faded but got into promising positions - 6
Christian Benteke - Struggled first half, sometimes you feel he should be a goal hanger like in the playground, as with his goal which was taken well. Should've had a second but unlike against Leicester you can credit the goalkeeper - 6
Lucas Leiva - Replaced Henderson, grew into the game, did his job effectively - 6
Jordon Ibe - Bringing him on made sense, did his job. Would like to see him use his left foot - 6
Kolo Toure - Always great to see him come and have a few minutes in midfield - N/A
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