Fernando Torres started the scoring in the 2nd minute with a sublime finish before Johnson and Torres again ensured the reds gained all three points and moved back in to 5th.
Steven Gerrard moved back to central midfield, partnering Javier Mascherano with Kuyt operating behind Torres.
Liverpool dominated throughout the game, and within a minute a free kick from Gerrard had found Agger who fired straight at the keeper. In the following minute the reds scored. Pepe Reina found Torres who powered in to the box before dodging the attention of two Sunderland defenders to lift a perfectly weighted shot over Craig Gordon.
It was a fantastic goal from one of the world’s best players.
Chance after chance fell Liverpool’s way throughout the first half with Pepe Reina watching on a spectator.
Mascherano was having a couple of shots and even Agger seemed to be back to his brazen best – powering out of defence and having a couple of chances of his own
Glen Johnson was a potent attacking threat – in a way that we haven’t seen since he returned from injury.
The ball arrived at his feet, he turned inside, before unleashing a left footed shot which took a minor deflection on it’s already goalbound path, to make it 2-0 to the reds.
Liverpool went in at the break possibly wondering how it was only 2.
The second half was more of a procession.
A couple of fast paced Liverpool breaks saw a last ditch tackle as Torres fired goalbounds, and Ryan Babel in a great position shot narrowly over.
The third goal arrived in the 60th minute. Johnson involved again and Torres had all the time in the world before eventually deciding to flick the ball over the keeper.
Torres, Gerrard and Kuyt all made way to substitutes as the reds turned their focus to Thursday’s game in Portugal.
All in, this was the reds third decent performance at home in the last two weeks, 3 games that have seen the reds score ten times. It is also Liverpool’s 8th straight home league win.
Carragher capped his 620th appearance (equalling Alan Hansen) with a clean sheet. If the reds can transfer their Anfield performances away from home then the race for 4th could still see many twists and turns.
Our Man of the Match: Fernando Torres
Post Match Comments
“He (Maxi Rodriguez) is a very good signing for the team
“He has game intelligence and can keep the ball. He can play in three different positions and works very hard. He is very positive in his approach. I am really pleased with him and he has been good for the team.
“Maxi can be a big difference. If you get clever movement from him, it can help us.”
“The first was one of his best, but I also liked the second one. He was calm and sometimes it is not just about a good strike, but also about doing the right thing at the right moment. Both goals were good.
“If he can stay fit, he is very important. It is important to have different options when you play two games a week. You can then change the tactics and the system, but also keep the tempo.
“It is important to have players like Fernando, Gerrard and Maxi available.
“Today we started with a really high tempo and passed the ball well. We scored an early goal which can always help. We continued pushing and created a lot of chances.
“I was trying to protect players after the third goal because we know we have to play against Benfica and early against Birmingham, so if we can manage and avoid injuries and problems, you can carry on playing the same way with the same tactics.
“At this moment the main thing for us is to play well. If we do this, we will be closer to the top four and hopefully we will be closer to the final of the Europa league. That is the best way for us to move forward.”