Late goals from Mohamed Salah, who had not scored since mid-February, and a first since the autumn of 2017 for Jordan Henderson secured a critical victory against organised and impressive opponents, who had led earlier in the match, to take the visitors back to the summit.
Saints were well in the game and went ahead through Shane Long in the ninth minute.
"People want us to play like City, we are not able to do that, why should we do it?"
The Egypt worldwide gathered the ball on the half way line as Liverpool attacked on the break.
Gary Neville questioned whether he thought about passing when running through, but Salah replied: "Err not at all!"
Angus Gunn was motionless as Salah curled an inch-perfect strike into the bottom-right corner that kissed the post on its way in.
Keita has failed to live up to expectations since his £53 million move from RB Leipzig last summer, but the Senegalese could hardly have picked a better moment to score his first goal for the club nine minutes before the break.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will reprise their respective roles on either side side of the back four.
"The mentality is very good", Henderson adds.
Tonight, however, the Reds were all over the place at times.
Henderson proved to be a calming influence for Liverpool after coming on for Georginio Wijnaldum in the 59th minute.
It just makes it so much better. There are a number of reasons for this but the main one seems to be the opinion that Liverpool fans would be unbearable if they won the title.
"I just took my decision to shoot the ball and score". That was until tonight when he rose up to head in the Reds' crucial first-half equaliser.
Salah, who had not scored for eight matches - his worst run at Liverpool - said he was "very happy" to end the drought and help his side.
The 26-year-old already holds the record for most goals (32) in a 38-game season, beating the likes of Shearer (Blackburn in 1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, 2007-08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool, 2013-14).