A Fernando Torres double helped sink Everton in the 205th Merseyside derby in a game in which Liverpool dominated from start to finish.
It was back to business as the reds took control of the game from the very first whistle. Rafa Benitez made no changes from the side that drew against Stoke in the reds last Premiership game.
Despite the domination Liverpool were struggling with the final killer ball in the first half, and with Mike Riley blowing his whistle every other minute the game took on a stop-start nature.
Torres was finding himself increasingly frustrated and early in the second half found himself added to the number of yellow cards in the game.
But in the 58th minute everything changed when the Keane-Torres combination kicked in. Keane down the left got a fantastic cross in for Torres to smash home.
Within two minutes the reds doubled the lead.
Keane to Kuyt, who had the ball tackled away by Jagielka. Who was on hand to fire the ball home? Torres again.
Some Evertonians were making their way to the exit.
Within three minutes Torres was denied his hat-trick by the over-zealous referee who had judged Kuyt to have committed a foul.
Towards the end of the game, the blues showed little desire to make amends and the reds continued to press.
Tim Cahill saw a deserved red for a ludicrous challenge on Xabi Alonso, about three hours after the ball had gone.
Liverpool brought on Pennant and Leiva – but this was a walk in the park. Total domination from start to finish and the blue half of Merseyside can have no complaints about their performance today.
Liverpool go top. For now.
Torres 1st goal
Torres 2nd goal
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Dossena, Kuyt, Alonso, Gerrard, Riera, Torres, Keane.
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Agger, Aurelio, Pennant, Babel, Leiva Lucas.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Arteta, Neville, Fellaini, Osman, Cahill, Yakubu.
Subs: Nash, Baines, Castillo, Saha, Vaughan, Nuno Valente, Rodwell.
Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).
Updated Player Stats