Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema scored her 15th and 16th goals of the Women’s Super League season to help earn the Gunners a gripping 3-2 win at relegation-threatened Liverpool.
The Netherlands star poked the visitors level after Rinsola Babajide had slotted Liverpool in to an early lead.
England’s Jordan Nobbs headed Arsenal in front but Rachel Furness equalised clinically on the stroke of half-time.
Miedema then nodded in Leonie Maier’s cross in a tense second half to win it.
For 23-year-old Miedema, her goals were her first in the league in 2020 but stretched her lead as the WSL’s top scorer, moving her three clear of second-placed Beth England of Chelsea.
The result saw the Gunners stay third in the league standings, three points behind leaders Manchester City and two behind second-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
Victory was much-needed for Joe Montemurro’s side, following their back-to-back defeats to their two title rivals in their previous two league matches.
The defence of their title remains out of their hands but they could reduce the deficit further on 23 February if they win at home to Reading on the day that Manchester City host Chelsea.
For Liverpool, the defeat was their ninth from 13 league games this term but they showed enough quality to give themselves hope of escaping relegation.
The lively Babajide used her pace to latch on to Furness’ lobbed ball to open the scoring and then the Northern Ireland midfielder lashed in superbly to make it 2-2 moments before the break.
However, the Reds rarely called Arsenal keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin in to action in the second half and Vicky Jepson’s side remain above the drop zone only on goal-difference.
Just 660 fans were in attendance for the game, which was moved to Chester’s Deva Stadium because of problems with the pitch at Liverpool Women’s usual shared home of Prenton Park, Tranmere Rovers men’s ground.
Among the spectators was England boss Phil Neville, who will have been more than concerned by a painful-looking injury suffered by the Lionesses’ Arsenal forward Beth Mead in the second half.
England’s defence of their SheBelieves Cup title begins against the hosts the United States on 5 March [00:00 GMT on 6 March].
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema:
“You obviously start looking at the clock, but then you kind of know there is always going to be that one chance and luckily that came.
“From there on I didn’t have the feeling that we were going to give it away again.
“I’ve always been complaining that we don’t play enough crosses to my head so I’m very happy that it happened today.
“In the first half we didn’t really switch the ball enough and the second half with all the crosses coming in you could see that we created more chances.”
Liverpool midfielder Rachel Furness:
“I think we’ve taken one of the best teams in Europe all the way and we’ve come off disappointed not to get anything out of the game.
“That just shows that in the team and in the squad how well we’re doing that we’re disappointed just to get beat by Arsenal.
“We will look back at it and take the positives out of the game but we’ve got to put them little mistakes right going into Sunday’s game.”