Kenny Dalglish believed Steven Gerrard's first XI comeback against Manchester United epitomised the captain's importance for Liverpool.
The England international played in the starting line-up for the first time in seven months following a groin problem and marked his return with an opening goal from a free-kick.
United came back to equalise through Javier Hernandez but Liverpool manager Dalglish was delighted by the performance of Gerrard.
On his skipper, the Scot said: "I thought he was everything he's been for the club, and it was fitting he got the goal."
Dalglish added: "The fact we have Steven Gerrard playing is a real boost to us. It is fantastic for him he has crowned his first start for a while by scoring.
"He has made a fantastic contribution to this football club and he will continue to do that.
"To see him back was brilliant for us, but more importantly really encouraging for him. He still has a bit to go, but it was fantastic to see him starting a game and he deserves that reward of a goal."
After an uneventful first half, the contest provided far more entertainment in the second 45 minutes and developed into an end-to-end contest in the closing minutes.
Jordan Henderson went close to winning it, but his lobbed volley was superbly saved by David de Gea, who produced a composed display to respond to some of his critics.
Dalglish said: "I thought in the first half the two teams almost cancelled each other out, and the second half started much the same.
"We scored the goal then they equalised, then their keeper made two or three good saves. I thought the boy (De Gea) was struggling?
"He wasn't struggling today, he made two or three great saves."