Glen Johnson marked his home debut with a goal as Liverpool secured their first victory of the season with a 4-0 win over Stoke City at Anfield.
The England full-back reacted quickest on the stroke of half-time to fire Dirk Kuyt's blocked header over the line with a finely executed volley.
Fernando Torres had earlier put the Reds into the lead with a cool finish after only four minutes following fine work by Steven Gerrard.
The captain was heavily involved in Liverpool's third as a majestic turn allowed him to set up a 78th minute tap in for Dirk Kuyt, before David Ngog headed home late on to cap a fine night's work for the home side.
Rafa Benitez was forced into a defensive reshuffle before the game with Martin Skrtel sidelined by the injury he picked up against Tottenham Hotspur. Youngster Daniel Ayala was drafted into the centre of defence to partner Jamie Carragher and make his first ever start for the Liverpool first team.
The Reds were visibly keen to return to winning ways following the defeat at White Hart Lane, and they made a positive start to the game, with Lucas forcing a save from Thomas Sorensen thanks to a low drive from the edge of the area.
The early pressure paid dividends after just four minutes when Gerrard's surge into the right channel of the penalty area saw the skipper deliver a teasing pull-back into the centre, where the lurking Torres turned the ball into the back of the net from 10 yards.
A dream start for Benitez's charges, and it almost got even better in the 21st minute when Gerrard released Torres into the right channel on a lightening quick counter-attack from a Stoke free-kick.
The Spaniard's dangerous cross was flicked on by Kuyt and found its way to the unmarked Emiliano Insua at the back stick, but the defender pushed the ball wide of the post.
He went close again when compatriot Javier Mascherano's superb long-ball picked out the run of the Reds' No.22, but his cross-turned-shot was blocked by Sorensen, before Glen Johnson stabbed wide from the edge of the box moments later.
Torres was forced to leave the field on 37 minutes after sustaining a wound to the head following an aerial challenge with Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross and, just as Carragher had done against Spurs, El Nino returned to the action having required stitches to the injury.
The striker was straight back into the thick of the things though, and only the boot of Shawcross prevented his run and shot from testing Sorensen - but the Reds did not have to wait long to double their advantage.
After the resulting corner was cleared for a second flag-kick, Gerrard's centre picked out Kuyt, whose powerful downward header was blocked on the line.
However, Johnson was on hand to spectacularly volley the loose ball into the net and mark his league debut for Liverpool at Anfield with a goal.
Stoke made a bright start to the second period and Rory Delap's powerful strike from the edge of the area was expertly palmed around the post by Pepe Reina at full stretch. Then, a brilliant last ditch clearance by Johnson prevented Richard Cresswell from turning the ball over the line as the Potters continue to press.
But the home side soon regained control and should have furthered their lead on 54 minutes. Sorensen could only parry Gerrard's long-range strike into the path of Kuyt. With the goal at his mercy, the Dutchman unfortunately could not adjust his body quickly enough to direct the ball into the empty net.
Liverpool were enjoying their football and Kuyt's driven cross narrowly evaded Torres in the centre before the Reds' No.9 brought a save out of the visitors' stopper with a clipped effort.
Sorensen then thwarted Johnson after the full-back struck a left-footed shot goalwards following another trademark surge forward - the former Portsmouth man was clearly relishing his Anfield bow.
The Potters' custodian again had to be alert soon after to tip over as Shawcross inadvertently directed Gerrard's cross toward his own goal.
The moment of the match arrived with 12 minutes left on the Anfield scoreboard as Gerrard produced a simply sublime piece of skill to set up Kuyt for Liverpool's third of the evening.
Latching on to Mascherano's ball over the top, the skipper superbly spun beyond Matthew Etherington before squaring across the face of goal for Kuyt to tap home.
Substitute Ngog headed a late fourth in stoppage-time after Johnson's cross was turned into his path by Sorensen.
It was a fitting end to an excellent night's work for the Reds.
19:00 GMT : Match Starts 1 min : The visitors kick-off in a raucous Anfield 1 min : And the first chant of the day is for Rafa Benitez 3 mins : 20-yard blast from Lucas smothered by Sorensen 4 mins : First touch for young Ayala is an easy pass to Masch 4 mins : GOAL! Fernando Torres: Gerrard plays a one-two with Lucas before sending a bobbled cross which Torres tucked away 7 mins : Kuyt cross just too high for Yossi. Great start... 7 mins : Dean Whitehead said this morning they had to deal with Gerrard...we've just seen what happens when you don't 9 mins : Long throw from Delap causes problems and Stoke have a corner 10 mins : The Reds clear and the break is on...Johnson finds Torres, who's fouled. Dangerous free-kick 11 mins : Gerrard in-swinger but Ayala can't direct his header on target 12 mins : First Booking: Dean Whitehead: Left his leg in on Masch 13 mins : The opposition fans haven't stopped singing about Stevie...he responds with a fierce but fair tackle...best player in England 14 mins : Great block by Stevie 16 mins : Masch tries to thread his mate Yossi through but it's just too heavy 18 mins : Carra plays Johnson through down the right...he's got space to cross but Sorensen cuts it out before the lurking Torres can get there 19 mins : Deep ball into the Reds box...Reina out well to punch clear 20 mins : Carra yelling at Ayala to yell at Insua 21 mins : Torres bursts down the right...brilliant cross headed on by Kuyt...open goal for Insua...oh dear 21 mins : It's wide from the youngster but he did well to get there 24 mins : Delap launches one into the box from the touchline...skims Ayala's head...and thankfully lands in the palms of Pepe Reina 25 mins : Fine tackle by Lucas, who's having another good game 26 mins : Fantastic ball from Masch to Insua down the left...the youngster's touch is excellent...can he find someone...ah, his powerful cross is too close to Sorensen 28 mins : Another Delap throw is eventually gathered by Reina...that's the best way to deal with them, get the keeper to come and collect 30 mins : Gerrard cross is cleared but a snapshot from Johnson isn't far off... 33 mins : Yossi gives away a free-kick in a decent position for the Potters 33 mins : ...Insua heads clear 35 mins : Etherington buys a foul off Masch 37 mins : Torres is down in the opposition box...there's blood dripping from his forehead 38 mins : The Spaniard is on his feet...and on his way down the tunnel for stitches 41 mins : Johnson wins a free-kick with nice feet on the edge of the box...it's basically a corner 10 yards forward 42 mins : ...wasted 43 mins : Composed header clear from Ayala is applauded by the Kop 43 mins : Torres back on... 44 mins : Lucas fouled...ref plays advantage...Kuyt has it...his low drive is easy for the keeper 44 mins : Well-timed tackle from Insua set Liverpool on the counter...Torres has it...goes one way then another...his shot is deflected over for a corner... 45 mins : GOAL! Glen Johnson: Kuyt header is cleared off the line but Johnson makes no mistake with a scissor kick from the rebound 19:48 GMT : Half Time Reached 20:03 GMT : Second Half Begins 46 mins : Torres and Gerrard get the second half underway 46 mins : Man Utd losing 1-0 to Burnley...55 mins gone...Carrick missed a pen 48 mins : World-class save from Reina to deny Delap 51 mins : Marvellous clearance from Johnson as Stoke go on the attack once more 52 mins : Surging run from the impressive Insua down the left...just can't get his cross in 54 mins : Gerrard works himself into enough space to shoot...it's parried by Sorensen but the rebound comes too quickly for Kuyt 55 mins : Johnson wins a corner...he's having a brilliant game 56 mins : Attendance 44,318 57 mins : Gerrard finds Johnson down the right...makes his man look silly before passing to Dirk...his cross is just beyond Torres 59 mins : Beattie tries one from the half-way line, forgetting for a moment he is not very good 59 mins : Sublime touch from Gerrard 60 mins : Torres has a fair load of stitches in his eyebrow 60 mins : Johnson dances past Higginbotham before having a left-foot drive saved 62 mins : Substitution: Ricardo Fuller for James Beattie: 62 mins : Substitution: Liam Lawrence for Richard Cresswell: 63 mins : Kuyt bursts forward...tries to lay to Torres but Shawcross intercepts 64 mins : Mecurial play by Yossi on the edge of the box 65 mins : Torres wins a corner 66 mins : Kuyt cross is almost headed into his own goal by Shawcross...corner 67 mins : Lucas does well to win back possession but Gerrard can't control 68 mins : Lovely one-two between Yossi and Fernando but the little Israeli is tackled 69 mins : Yossi uses the run of Insua to find space for a shot...just over 69 mins : Substitution: Danny Pugh for Dean Whitehead: 71 mins : Beautiful football from Liverpool but the cross is high and wide from our Argentine left-back 72 mins : Johnson looks so classy 73 mins : Ayala winning everything in the air...he looked nervous in possession earlier but seems to have relaxed 67 mins : Audacious flick from Torres and he wins a corner 78 mins : GOAL! Dirk Kuyt: An absolutely sublime touch from Gerrard before his cross is tapped home by Kuyt 81 mins : United have lost 1-0.... 82 mins : Substitution: Andriy Voronin for Steven Gerrard: 82 mins : Substitution: Albert Riera for Dirk Kuyt: 83 mins : Masch ball is dummied by Yossi...Johnson is free down the right but his cross lets him down. Only thing he's done wrong all night 85 mins : Substitution: David Ngog for Fernando Torres: 90 mins : Another fine tackle from the Brazilian...Mascherano-esque 90 mins : GOAL! David Ngog: Sorensen fails to deal with Johnson's cross and Ngog heads home from one yard 20:53 GMT : Match Over