This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
A moment of class finishing from Daniel Sturridge kept alive hopes at Liverpool that this could be the season when they again become a force in the Premier League.
Years of upheaval and uncertainty have left even a top four spot out of reach.
But a second win a week has generated optimism that the club is moving forward - and they did so at the expense of a Villa team who have started the campaign in impressive fashion.
Villa struggled to find the kind of rhythm and edge that had been the undoing of Arsenal and had troubled Chelsea. It was Liverpool who dominated possession with the midfield trio of Steven Gerrard, Lucas and Jordan Henderson giving Villa little space and time to provide the service on which Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor thrive.
Agbonlahor is the Villa out-ball. His searing pace can trouble the most organised of defences but Liverpool had clearly done their homework. Glen Johnson was rarely exposed to a one-on-one confrontation with the Villa front man. There was always a midfield ally to help the England defender nullify the Agbonlahor threat. That left Benteke isolated and Liverpool in control.
And their patient passing game - at which Gerrard was the hub - frustrated the Villa team and the expectant crowd. The composure that had been the undoing of Arsenal and the compact approach that had so nearly earned a point at Chelsea were hardly in evidence in the first period. And Liverpool had just the personnel to take advantage.
Sturridge was vibrant. He worked across the front line and left the Villa defence confused and uncertain. No-one looked comfortable when facing the England striker and while national manager Roy Hodgson was at Goodison Park earlier in the afternoon, a DVD of Sturridge's performance at Villa Park will make encouraging viewing.
Liverpool had considerable joy down Villa's right flank where Jose Enrique was able to use space behind Matthew Lowton to telling effect. And it was the Spanish left-back who set up the chance that gave Liverpool the lead in the 21st minute. And he had a helping hand with a deft example of improvisation from Philippe Coutinho.
Enrique threaded through a ball that looked destined for Coutinho but a cunning dummy wrong-footed Villa and released Sturridge.
There was still much work to do but Sturridge went round Antonio Luna and then the sprawling Brad Guzan before prodding the ball into the roof the net. It was no more than Liverpool deserved and more seemed certain to follow. But Liverpool failed to capitalise on their territorial advantage and almost paid the price in the closing minutes of the first half.
Benteke finally shook off the attentions of the Liverpool defenders and turned to produce a fearsome shot that Mignolet turned round the post.
Villa came to life and Andreas Weimann had an effort tipped away for a corner.
The new-found belief was carried by Villa into the second half and Liverpool were forced to concede a succession of free-kicks to subdue Villa's attacking intent.
And the Villa Park crowd found their voice. Shots at the Liverpool goal were restricted to long-range but the momentum was with Paul Lambert's team and Liverpool had gone from the comfort zone to consternation.
But Liverpool rode that early second-half storm and counter-attacked with some menace. Iago Aspas deceived the Villa defence when he let the ball run to Johnson but the right-back fluffed his lines and his effort went high and wide.
Lambert brought on Karim El Ahmadi for Lowton and the move almost paid off when the substitute hit a ferocious 66th-minute shot that needed a brave block from Gerrard to smother the danger. Then came a chance for Weimann but he failed to make a clean connection on Leandro Bacuna's cross.
Agbonlahor shot wide from the edge of the area in the 76th minute and Liverpool's nerves were beginning to show - a perfect illustration being Daniel Agger's ludicrous back pass to Mignolet which the Belgian goalkeeper had to hack away hastily for a corner.
Four minutes from time, Villa had a gilt-edged opening to equalise when Benteke broke clear. His fierce shot took a deflection of Kolo Toure which made Mignolet's save even more impressive.