This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
The sense of irony won't be lost on Brendan Rodgers that he had bemoaned the scheduling of this fixture. In truth the timing was absolutely perfect.
How Liverpool needed an afternoon like this. The doom and gloom generated by a wretched week was washed away in style as they routed Swansea City at Anfield.
Rodgers had been angered by the Premier League's decision to bring the visit of his former club forward a week and force the Reds to play a third game in six days.
But as it turned out this was exactly what the doctor ordered for those 'growing pains' which the manager has put his squad's infuriating inconsistency down to.
A worrying blip was in danger of turning into something more serious after damaging back to back defeats to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg.
Yet typically in this rollercoaster season, a devastating low was quickly followed by a morale-boosting high which provides hope for the challenges ahead.
Of course victory must be put into context. Swansea were the perfect visitors.
Michael Laudrup's decision to make wholesale changes ahead of next weekend's League Cup final merely underlined where his priorities lay.
The Swans' minds were clearly elsewhere as they delivered a performance of remarkable ineptitude.
But they still had to be beaten and Liverpool have previous for slipping up when the odds are stacked in their favour.
Not this time. Spurred on by a burning desire to make amends after the wastefulness in the final third and defensive lapses which had proved so costly both at home and abroad, Liverpool battered the under-strength Welsh outfit from start to finish.
As an attacking force the Reds were slick and inventive. Time and time again the Swans were carved apart. The hosts' tally of 35 attempts on goal hasn't been bettered by anyone in a top-flight clash all season.
What a difference the return of Daniel Sturridge from a thigh injury made as he once again illustrated how his January arrival from Chelsea has given Rodgers' side a new dimension.
Sturridge led the line expertly with Luis Suarez flourishing in the space just behind him.
There was also a hugely promising display from Philippe Coutinho, who capped his full debut with a goal.
The £8.5million signing from Inter Milan sparkled on the left flank with his neat touches and clever movement.
The Brazilian will need time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League and will certainly have much tougher afternoons than this but the new No 10 could be proud of his efforts.
Liverpool won with a swagger to inject some much needed confidence into the ranks ahead of Thursday's second leg with Zenit at Anfield.
If standards are maintained in all departments then overturning that 2-0 deficit is certainly achievable but Rodgers must find a way to do so without either Sturridge or Coutinho.
Much will rest on Suarez's shoulders and it was a boost to see the Uruguayan back on the scoresheet yesterday after a lean few weeks. You can't put a price on his value to Liverpool and the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for his exit late on.
The thrashing of Swansea enabled Liverpool to finally shake off the unwanted statistic of having failed to beat a team in the top half of the Premier League this season.
A seventh home league win of the campaign also saw them better the club's tally of victories at Anfield for the whole of 2011-12.
Progress hasn't been as swift as anyone wanted under Rodgers with early exits from both domestic cups coupled with an inability to generate any momentum in the league.
But having found the net on 49 occasions in the top flight, Liverpool have already surpassed their goal tally for last season.
Their points tally of 39 is the same as it was at the same point last year but with 11 games to play they should comfortably beat last season's haul of 52 points and secure a top-six finish.
That certainly wouldn't be cause for celebration but it would at least prove that Liverpool are heading in the right direction with a manager tasked with overseeing a rebuilding job and a long-term project.
From the start yesterday it was one-way traffic with Stewart Downing volleying wide before Suarez fired straight at Michel Vorm.
The pattern of the first half hour was familiar with Liverpool dominating possession and territory but unable to make it count.
Sturridge nodded over from Downing's cross and then Coutinho poked wide after Sturridge's appeals for a penalty had been waved away.
Ten minutes before the interval the breakthrough finally arrived. Steven Gerrard's corner found its way to Suarez at the far post and he burst past Kemy Agustien towards the byline.
The Dutch midfielder stupidly tripped him and this time Howard Webb pointed to the spot. Gerrard made no mistake as he drilled the penalty into the bottom corner.
Relief engulfed Anfield and suddenly the atmosphere, which had been eerily quiet, was transformed.
A Swansea side missing the likes of top scorer Michu, captain Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel and Nathan Dyer had been comprehensively outclassed and in the second half they capitulated.
Just 16 seconds after the interval the points were wrapped up. Coutinho raced on to Suarez's pass and as Garry Monk backed off, the Brazilian cashed in, his right-footer finding the net via Vorm's leg.
Liverpool were rampant and Rodgers showed his appreciation as an eye-catching move involving Sturridge, Enrique, Coutinho and Suarez ended with Enrique clinically dispatching Sturridge's neat pass into the roof of the net.
Both full-backs excelled with Glen Johnson tormenting the Swans down the right flank throughout.
Suarez's 23rd goal of the season arrived in the 56th minute as he latched on to Downing's pass and skipped away from Kyle Bartley and Monk before arrowing a shot into the corner.
Substitute Jordan Henderson impressed after replacing Coutinho and Suarez and Sturridge both went close to extending Liverpool's advantage before the hosts grabbed a fifth with 18 minutes to go.
Wayne Routledge senselessly handled Enrique's cross and Gerrard unselfishly presented the ball to Sturridge, who grasped the opportunity by beating Vorm from 12 yards.
Liverpool could have had more joy with Sturridge hitting the woodwork before the sad sight of substitute Fabio Borini departing in agony with a dislocated shoulder late on.
Now the challenge facing the Reds is to replicate this display when the stakes are higher against the Russian champions.