The presence of Cameroonian captain, Samuel Eto'o Fils and giant defender Chris Samba was not enough to prevent former European giants, Liverpool putting one over Anzi Makhachkala in a group game of the Europa League on Thursday.
The Russian Millionaires, who had arrived at Anfield at the top of the Europa Group A with four points, were unbeaten in 13 straight games in all competitions.
Liverpool have been patchy at times this season, but the Reds just notched their first home win in the Premier League, and were not exactly short of confidence.
And it was the home side, parading lots of youngsters in their ranks, that started the brighter of the two sides, forcing their more experienced visitors into errors.
Still, the first half ended with neither side registering a goal.
The second half was only eight minutes old when Stewart Downing showed a glimpse of why Liverpool spent a fortune to prise him form Villa Park.
The former England man picked up a pass from the left channel, ran at the bemused Anzi defender in front of him, slightly changed direction, and let fly from all of 25 yards. The swerving and dipping shot flew past a stranded Vladimir Gabulov in goal for Anzi, to settle the tie.
Liverpool thus went top of the group with six points from the three matches played so far.