Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel were both on target as Liverpool marked Kenny Dalglish's 350th match in charge with a superb 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
The Wales international got the Reds off to a flyer with a close range finish on 11 minutes before Skrtel doubled the advantage with a thumping header on the quarter of an hour mark.
It set the tone for a one-sided encounter in the Midlands and, although the away team could and should have secured a bigger margin of victory, the result moves them to within three points of third-placed Chelsea ahead of what promises to be a busy festive period.
Going into the Sunday afternoon showdown, Dalglish made two changes to the side that had edged past Queens Park Rangers last time out. Jonjo Shelvey came in for his first start of the season following an impressive loan spell at Blackpool, while Bellamy also returned to the line-up.
The Villans had been struck by a whole host of selection problems in the lead up to the contest - including the loss of joint-top scorers Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor - and hopes were high that the travelling Kop would return back up the M6 having seen the Reds claim victory on what was a landmark occasion for the King.
However, it was the home team that had the first sight of goal as Stiliyan Petrov teased a free-kick over the wall that had Pepe Reina scrambling down to his right-hand post inside 60 seconds.
Liverpool were looking to threaten on the counter in the early stages and Stewart Downing almost picked the perfect moment to open his account for the club when he cut in from the right and drilled in a low shot that Brad Guzan held at his near post.
The former Villa man was inevitably treated to a red-hot reception from the home faithful, but he responded in the best way possible by playing his part in the opener on 11 minutes.
The England winger delivered a low corner from the right that was flicked towards goal by Shelvey and when the ball broke away from Luis Suarez, Bellamy was on hand to coolly tuck home from inside the six yard box.
The goal sparked chants of 'one Stewart Downing' from the away end and before they had a chance to settle back into their seats, they were celebrating a second just four minutes later.
Once again Villa were exposed from a set piece as Skrtel rose brilliantly to beat off his markers and guide a firm header beyond Guzan via Bellamy's left-wing corner.
The hosts were shell-shocked but did offer some form of riposte around the 20 minute mark as first Nathan Delfouneso and then Charles N'Zogbia tried their luck from distance.
The former Wigan star can be a real threat on his day and gave another cameo of what he is capable of with an explosive burst of pace that was followed by a shot that arrowed into the side netting of Reina's goal.
There were definite signs of a way back into the contest for Alex McLeish's men but that was juxtaposed by the danger that Liverpool would pose on the break.
The slick one-touch passing that has been a feature of some of the visitors' best displays so far this term was increasingly evident and they could easily have had a third soon after when Jordan Henderson's probing ball just eluded Suarez at the far post.
The Reds had shown a clinical streak with the two early goals but they were left frustrated just after the half hour mark when Shelvey saw his stabbed effort smothered by Guzan after a sublime nutmeg and pass from Suarez.
Indeed, only the shrill of the half-time whistle offered the hosts some form of respite and Liverpool were at it again within seconds of the restart.
Another lightning break saw Bellamy surge down the left. The Welsh forward barely broke stride before clipping in a delicious centre that Daniel Agger, who was making his 150th appearance for the club in all competitions, could only crash over the top with a flying header.
Next, the No.39 sent Suarez clear with Richard Dunne in close attendance. The Republic of Ireland international looked to have won the race for the ball, but reckoned without the determination of Suarez, who regained possession, dummied James Collins and fired in a thumping shot that cannoned back off the upright.
It was one-way traffic at this point and Glen Johnson stung the fingertips of Guzan with a venomous drive from 25 yards that looked all-set to be number three until the Villa custodian intervened.
With the game approaching the hour mark, Dalglish must have been scratching his head at how his side had only notched two goals and his frustration would have enhanced soon after when Suarez made it 17 for the season.
Not goals of course, but attempts that had struck the woodwork.
The latest followed a raking pass by Downing that the No.7 controlled before clipping a sensational effort over Guzan that had the 'keeper beaten all ends up - only to bounce back off the inside of the post.
Next, Shelvey raced through and saw his firm effort brilliantly blocked by Guzan while Charlie Adam was left equally perplexed when his goalbound 10 yarder deflected to safety.
In recent weeks Dalglish has spoken of his side's lack of luck in front of goal and there was a real mix bag on show from the Liverpool players as misfortune was countered by a finishing touch that sometimes lacked the composure the build up play deserved.
This was further highlighted when Suarez teed up Shelvey 20 yards out, but the midfielder skewed his first time shot way over the crossbar.
As the clock ticked down Liverpool continued to look the more menacing, while Reina remained a virtual spectator, on an afternoon when Dalglish and co laid down a marker of their Champions League credentials.