The 17-year-old became the Reds' second-youngest Premier League scorer after Michael Owen as his expertly-taken 29th-minute strike was enough to dispatch Reading at Anfield.
Sterling broke into the team this season and has impressed so far but Saturday's game was by far his best.
Had his team-mates been sharper up front the result would have been put beyond doubt long before the end but a first home league win of the season - and only Liverpool's third at Anfield in 2012 - was finally secured.
Sterling, who joined Liverpool as a 15-year-old from QPR, is still so young the club are shielding him from media interviews - at least until his 18th birthday in December.
So the youngster expressed his thoughts about his first senior Liverpool goal on Twitter, saying: "Great day for me and my family to score for such a big club. One of the happiest days of my life."
Manager Brendan Rodgers, who admitted their first home league win was something of a relief, was full of praise for Sterling and 18-year-old Suso, who in the absence of the injured Fabio Borini and out-of-favour England international Stewart Downing, are shouldering responsibility up front.
"Technically the two are fantastic but to play in the Premier League at the age they are shows their capabilities as well," said the Northern Irishman.
"We should have had three points here long before today and the longer it goes on it can become a concern.
"We've had some tough games here this season and so it is important we make this a real difficult place to come.
"Hopefully over the next few years we can make it a fortress here. "
Liverpool were totally dominant in the first half but neither Sterling, Glen Johnson or Luis Suarez were able to make the most of all their chances.
After the break Reading, sensing an opportunity, created more and after more wayward Reds finishing only a smart save from Brad Jones from Gareth McCleary ensured a clean sheet.
Jones was making his first Premier League start - and only his second league appearance in more than two years - deputising for the injured Jose Reina.
The Australia international, who is being given a run-out in the Europa League, believes despite his lack of regular action he has got better and played down his save.
"It's what you get paid to do and we always looked dangerous any time we got the ball and went forward," he said.
"It is not down to the amount of games you play. As a goalkeeper I've improved a lot since I've been here.
"In terms of playing games, which is what you want, you have to fight to do that and I'm someone who likes a challenge and that is why I came here.
"Since the manager has come in there has been changes, people have left, and from the day he came in it was a fight to prove to him you were worthy of being here and I hope I'm winning that battle.
"I found out late Friday Pepe was still struggling with the (hamstring) injury.
"It's not something you want to risk because it's something that could keep him out for a week or, if he plays, it could be longer."
Reading are still looking for their first league win having been promoted last season but despite their Anfield defeat Brian McDermott remains optimistic.
"There are a lot of plusses to come out of that," he said.
"You don't want to be saying 'well done' to your players when you've lost the game as lucky losers but we'll move on, there are a lot of positives going into next week.
"I see us in training every day, I know we can pass it, I know we can play, and we've got pace in our team.
"This is our challenge. We had a challenge last season to get into this league and we managed to do that and the challenge this season is to concentrate solely on what we do and improve our performances.
"If we do that results will come and we've got two games at home now."
Chelsea won the Europa League on Wednesday. The Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 on injury time goal from Ivanovic.
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