Liverpool youngster Jonjo Shevley spurned the best opportunity of the first half when the 20-year-old fired over the crossbar despite having just the Anzhi goalkeeper to beat.
Brendan Rodgers switched Stewart Downing to left-back after the interval, and the former Middlesbrough midfielder cut in from the wing and fired a venomous winner pas Vladimir Gabulov in the 53rd minute.
“We’re very pleased with the three points,” said Gerrard. “The objective before the game was to win, whatever way we managed it.
“We played some good stuff and what a way to win it.”
He added: “The manager said at the beginning of the season that we’re going to try and win everything we’re competing in.
“This is a tough competition, it’s long and at times you will use the squad but he decided to pick a very strong team, and the lads got the job done.”
Downing insisted he is working hard to become a regular fixture in Rodgers’ side after a difficult start to the season which has seen the former Aston Villa man used largely as a substitute.
“I was on my right foot and got to the edge of the box and I just thought I’d hit it,” said Downing.
“They were making it hard for us and we tried to play through them but it was difficult at times.
The England international added: “You have your ups and downs and it’s about how you respond from it. I’m working hard and I’m trying to get back in the team.
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