Fernando Torres’ third minute strike set the tone for a comfortable and impressive performance for Liverpool as they brushed aside Sunderland at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The Spaniard opened the scoring with a stunning strike into the far top corner and added a second for himself in the second half after Glen Johnson had made it two earlier on.
It could have been a lot more, with Liverpool showing a rare attacking intent with Kuyt alongside Torres, Maxi, Babel and Gerrard all supporting, with Mascherano holding midfield.
By the time Torres opened the scoring after just three minutes Liverpool had already worked Sunderland‘s in-form goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Daniel Agger forcing a save with his volley from a corner.
The match continued in this vein, with Torres hitting wide shortly after his first goal and hitting the post and fluffing the follow up after Johnson’s goal.
With Spurs having won the day before a win here was much-needed and it was very comfortable, with Liverpool bossing possession and creating chance after chance. The difference between this Liverpool performance and the ones fans have been served up against the likes of Wigan in recent months is chalk and cheese.
Last season it was often said Torres needs to be playing up front on his own with Gerrard in behind him, but with defenders now marking the Spaniard so closely, today was another argument for the Reds top scorer having a partner alongside him who can allow him to isolate defenders and support him more effectively.
Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Babel, Gerrard (El Zhar 80), Mascherano, Maxi, Kuyt (Aquilani 71), Torres (Ngog 77)
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Krygiakos, Benayoun, Lucas
Goals: Torres (3, 32), Johnson (60)
Sunderland (4-4-2): Gordon, Bardsley, Turner, Ferdinand, Richardson, Henderson (Zenden 78), Cattermole (Da Silva 45), Cana, Malbranque (Jones 51), Campbell, Bent
Subs nor used: Carson, Benajani, Kilgallon, Liddle
Referee: Phil Dowd