Yossi Benayoun fired a hat-trick as Liverpool beat newly-promoted Burnley 4-0 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
The unstoppable Israeli opened the scoring in the first half before Dirk Kuyt hit our second before the break.
Benayoun then struck twice in the second half in front of freed Kopite Michael Shields, attending his first game since Istanbul.
The English summer returned for a late reprieve this week, and the sunshine seemed to bring the best out of Rafa Benitez's title hopefuls.
With Javier Mascherano rested after playing 90 minutes for Argentina in South America, Steven Gerrard was asked to drop back alongside Lucas.
Instead Benayoun hogged the limelight, with license to roam behind Fernando Torres.
It was fellow goalscorer Kuyt who threatened first on seven minutes, attempting to nestle the ball into the bottle corner from 20 yards. The Dutchman saw his shot comfortably saved by Brian Jensen.
Next Torres swung his right foot from similar range. This time the ball curled narrowly past the post into the arms of an Anfield Roader. Up stepped Martin Skrtel moments later with a thunderbolt from 35 yards that almost shattered the electronic hoardings.
Well-drilled and determined, Owen Coyle's men were restricting their hosts to long-range efforts until finally a clear sight at goal for Benayoun on 23 minutes. The Israeli captain surged into the box to meet Emiliano Insua's left-footed cross but nodded just wide.
Burnley had been warned. Four minutes later Benayoun picked up possession on the edge of the area, weaved past Burnley skipper Graham Alexander and finished neatly beyond Jensen.
With their nerves settled, Liverpool set about finding a second, and it was almost instantaneous as Benayoun saw his diving header from Albert Riera's cross parried. Kuyt was denied from the rebound.
Riera then sighed in frustration as his sweetly-struck drive inched wide.
The advantage was finally doubled on 41 minutes and Benayoun was again the architect, finding a yard to shoot from distance. Jensen blocked but couldn't gather and Kuyt was on hand to tap in his second of the campaign.
It would have been three before half-time had Jensen not produced a superb save to deny Gerrard's 20-yard twister.
Pepe Reina was a spectator for most of the first period but was finally tested on the stroke of half-time when Insua backed off Martin Paterson, allowing Burnley's No.10 to fire towards the top corner.
The second-half began with a penalty shout following a trip by Wade Elliott on Gerrard, though the sight of our No.8's boot strewn two feet outside the box vindicated referee Lee Mason's decision to award a free-kick. Gerrard tapped it to Riera, whose fierce effort was blocked.
Torres for his part hadn't had much of a sniff, though the Kop net looked set to ripple after he latched onto Kuyt's ball only to be thwarted by a fine tackle from Tyrone Mears.
The striker was involved in the third, though, finding the run of Gerrard on 61 minutes. The captain burst into the box, rode an ill-timed challenge and squared for Benayoun to sidefoot into a gaping net. A fine team goal.
With the points secure, Benitez took the opportunity to give Philipp Degen his league debut 14 months into his Anfield stay.
This was Benayoun's day, however. The No.15 was denied a hat-trick by the offside flag after pouncing on another Jensen parry but his time would come.
First, though, Gerrard almost added his name to the scoresheet on 74 minutes after a mixture of shambolic defending and sheer persistence brought him one-on-one with Jensen. Rounding the goalkeeper was no problem but by now the angle was tight and the England man saw his effort bounce off the post to safety.
Benayoun sealed his treble on 81 minutes after more neat passing from the hosts, substitute Andriy Voronin providing the killer ball which the Israeli converted while Burnley looked to the linesman.
Gerrard had a late shot saved and Voronin dinked wide but the scoreline was emphatic enough.
14:00 GMT : Match Starts 1 min : Burnley kick off attacking the Kop end 1 min : The visitors are quick out of the traps and Martin Paterson goes close with a low effort from just inside the area 4 mins : Good to see Michael Shields in the crowd today. It must be a dream moment for him to be back watching his beloved Reds 7 mins : Yossi and Riera combine on the left edge of the area, the ball falls for Kuyt... great stop from Brian Jensen 10 mins : It's been a slow start from LFC and the visitors look determined to continue their fine start to life in the PL 15 mins : Johnson marauds down the right but his cross is easily gathered by Jensen 17 mins : Skrtel's raking ball is hit first-time across goal by Insua... but no-one is in the box to take advantage of the situation, much to Rafa's frustration 17 mins : Torres goes close with a 25 yarder. Hopefully the Reds are starting to find a bit of rhythm 20 mins : Skrtel finds space in the centre circle and races forward before unleashing a long range drive just wide 21 mins : Kuyt fires over after a clever run and pass from Gerrard 23 mins : Yossi heads the best chance of the match so far just wide after the Reds caught Burnley off guard with a short corner 26 mins : Great tackle Skrtel. That stops Steven Fletcher in his tracks 27 mins : GOAL! Yossi Benayoun: The Israeli weaves his way past a defender before coolly placing the ball beyond Jensen 27 mins : It could be two... Jensen produces a superb double stop to keep Burnley in it 30 mins : Gerrard is inches away from taking Insua's clipped pass in his stride. A great forward run from the skipper 34 mins : Lucas forces a corner with a thunderbolt effort that Jensen manages to tip past the post 36 mins : Reina is forced to make a rare save, easily gathering Paterson's rising shot 37 mins : Yossi tees up Riera...just wide of the far post from the winger 38 mins : A dangerous cross from Blake is hacked clear by Gerrard. The away side are enjoying their best spell of the match so far 41 mins : GOAL! Dirk Kuyt: The Dutchman taps home after Jensen could only parry Benayoun's shot into his path 44 mins : Jensen pulls off a magnificent save to deny Gerrard's curling attempt 45 mins : It was a slow start but the Reds are well worth their lead as we head towards the interval 14:47 GMT : Half Time Reached 15:04 GMT : Second Half Begins 46 mins : LFC restart the match 48 mins : Johnson threads a great ball through for El Nino...but the flag is up for offside 50 mins : Corner to LFC...Gerrard takes...easily cleared by Alexander 52 mins : Gerrard goes down just outside the area....free-kick to LFC in a good position 52 mins : Riera is lining this up... 53 mins : Well blocked by the wall. The winger's second effort flies harmlessly wide 55 mins : Great feet from Johnson sets up Yossi whose cross is diverted goalwards by Kuyt. Easily saved by Jensen 56 mins : First Booking: Stephen Jordan: 58 mins : Today's attendance is 43,817 58 mins : Substitution: Chris Eagles for Robbie Blake: 61 mins : A last-ditch tackle by Mears denies Torres after the striker was sent clear by Kuyt 62 mins : GOAL! Yossi Benayoun: Wonderful goal is tapped home by Yossi after Gerrard raced onto Torres' path and put it on a plate for him 64 mins : Substitution: Philipp Degen for Glen Johnson: 68 mins : Carra blocks Eagles' attempt after a rare attack from Owen Coyle's men 69 mins : Substitution: Andriy Voronin for Dirk Kuyt: 70 mins : Substitution: David Nugent for Martin Paterson: 71 mins : Bikey does brilliantly to outmuscle Torres after Gerrard's pass had put El Nino in on goal 72 mins : Yossi is denied a hat-trick by the offside flag after Gerrard's free-kick was palmed into his path by Jensen 75 mins : Gerrard bursts into teh area, goes beyond the keeper.... but hits the post 75 mins : Substitution: Joey Gudjonsson for Graham Alexander: 76 mins : Substitution: David Ngog for Fernando Torres: 79 mins : A Burnley free-kick flies well over the top of Reina's goal. It's been a comfortable afternoon in the sun for the stopper 81 mins : GOAL! Yossi Benayoun: HAT-TRICK. Voronin's pass beats the offside trap, allowing Yossi to coolly slot home 84 mins : First Booking: Chris Eagles: 86 mins : Jensen makes a great stop to deny Gerrard after Voronin's audacious back heel 90 mins : Voronin beats the offside trap but clips his effort wide. A sitter missed! 90 mins : Three minutes added time 15:51 GMT : Match Over