Liverpool claimed their fourth consecutive Premier League victory with a fantastic goal-fest over Hull City at Anfield in which Fernando Torres bagged a hat-trick.
The win takes the Reds third, now just three points behind league leaders Chelsea, who lost to Wigan 1-0.
Torres got the game rolling after just thirteen minutes when he controlled an Albert Riera cross well from the left, changed feet and stuck the ball expertly away.
Just minutes later though Hull took advantage of sloppy play by Martin Skrtel who’s header away from goal fell straight onto the left foot of Geovanni who stuck away an equalizer for the visitors.
Hull’s celebrations were short lived though and the Reds were 2-1 up by the half hour mark. Yossi Benayoun fed Torres in who took the ball past Ibrahima Sonko and keeper Boaz Myhill before slotting home. He makes it look easy.
Just two minutes into the second half Torres bagged his third of the game, completing a marvelous hat-trick. Benayoun again played the Spaniard in on goal, who turned Paul McShane for his eighth goal of the season.
Steven Gerrard added a fourth just minutes later when his deep cross from the left side took everyone by surprise and swept over a despairing Myhill in the Hull goal.
As the second half went on, Hull looked dejected and Liverpool looked hungry for more goals. Rafa Benitez was given the luxury of taking off both Torres and Gerrard, with tricky fixtures against Fiorentina and Chelsea coming up over the next week.
With just minutes of the game left, Dirk Kuyt sent a battling cross in from the right side after a jinking run where substitute Ryan Babel tapped home to make it five.
Babel then surprised himself when he scored the sixth a couple of minutes later. Riera’s left-foot shot from the left of the penalty area hit the feet of Babel and looped over Myhill into Hull’s goal.
A miserable day for Hull, but a marvelous day for Torres and Liverpool who could have scored more. As it was, six goals and another victory ahead of a tricky week of European and domestic football and the Reds go marching on.
Team Line-ups and Substitutions
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard (Mascherano 74), Riera, Benayoun (Voronin 77), Lucas, Torres (Babel 67), Kuyt.
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Ngog.
Hull City: Myhill, Dawson, McShane, Sonko, Cooper, Geovanni, Hunt, Kilbane (Marney 64), Boateng, Ghilas, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Cousin 63).
Subs not used: Warner, Zayatte, Barmby, Marney, Olofinjana, Altidore, Cousin.
Man of the Match (apart from the obvious!)