After 7 Premier League draws in recent clashes with Birmingham City, the red revival continued in earnest with Liverpool delivering their biggest victory of the season, with the returning Maxi Rodriguez walking away with the match ball.
Rodriguez has been frozen out of the starting XI for over a month, after disappointing performances in the reds European double against Braga – but Dalglish’s punishment appeared to have the desired effect as the Argentine started the reds rout in the 7th minute.
Due to continuing injuries, the reds again started with John Flanagan and Jack Robinson at right and left back. The 18 and 17 year old were also included in the side with 21 year old Jay Spearing.
The only change from the Arsenal game was Rodriguez returning in place of the injured Andy Carroll – with Suarez and Kuyt as the up front partnership.
It was Spearing who helped initiate the demolition job. His 25 yard shot was too hot for keeper Ben Foster to handle, and Maxi Rodriguez was on hand to smash in the opener in front of the Kop.
Foster couldn’t deal with the move leading to the reds second, Suarez shot, then it fell to Kuyt, before it fell to Kuyt again to poke the ball across the line. Kuyt’s goalscoring additions for club and country since the departure of Torres has been phenomenal.
By the time of the third goal in the second half, Birmingham had a new keeper on the pitch due to injury – but he proved little better than Foster.
A well timed run from Suarez beat the offside trap and he cooly flicked across for Rodriguez to seal the three points with our third goal of the afternoon.
Rodriguez’ hat-trick followed shortly after, his initial shot failing to be dealt with by the Birmingham defence.
Joe Cole came on with 6 minutes remaining and with his first touch took the ball in from the right wing. After turning this way, and that, and with the crowd impatient for him to make his mind up he fired in a shot. A deflection off the defender enabled it to crawl narrowly inside the goal to complete the 5-0 victory.
The reds were in fine form, in games that have at times been the reds bug bear for this season.
Not only statistics but player and crowd enjoyment prove that Liverpool post January look an entirely different team to the one that lost 9 in 20 in the first half of the season.
With four games left, Liverpool are looking to end the season on as much of a high as possible.