Pressure eased on under-fire manager Steven Gerrard as Aston Villa eked out a 1-0 win over Southampton on the day the Premier League returned to action following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The English top-flight resumed on Friday for the first time since the Queen died on September 8, with last weekend's games postponed.
The game started with a minute's silence, and fans applauded in the 70th minute and sang "God Save The Queen" in recognition of her 70-year reign.
It was a forgettable game between two sides still searching for a consistent identity and the Saints slipped to a third defeat in four games to leave questions over the future of boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Fourth bottom at kick-off, Villa had won just one of their previous 10 league games and did little to suggest they would improve that record for the majority of the first half.
Jacob Ramsey netted his first goal of the season to give Villa a scrappy victory.
Desperate for a win after collecting four points from their first six games, Villa began to dominate possession but Philippe Coutinho wasted two good chances before Ramsey broke the deadlock.
The 21-year-old midfielder struck in the 41st minute, pouncing on the rebound and firing the ball off the underside of the crossbar after Ollie Watkins' header from a corner was acrobatically kept out by Southampton keeper Gavin Bazunu.
Douglas Luiz almost grabbed a cheeky second for Villa in first-half stoppage time as he swung in a corner that looked like it was going to dip under the crossbar, but Bazunu tipped the ball over.
Southampton came out with a lot more urgency in the second half, but both sides struggled to get any decent shots on target as Villa defended their lead doggedly.
"It's a big victory. It wasn't pretty or stylish but, with where we were in the league, we knew we had to do it in a pragmatic way," Gerrard said.
"I'm really proud of the boys' effort. In football, you have to grind and fight.
"It's been a tough period, but I've wanted step forward and protect my players. We've accepted a lot of criticism and it's about reacting and that's what we have done tonight."