This was just what the doctor ordered.
Three goals, a clean sheet and an emphatic fourth successive victory for Jurgen Klopp's resurgent Liverpool side.
After his recent health scare, Klopp enjoyed the luxury of a stress-free afternoon as the Reds broke their Southampton hoodoo in style.
Liverpool carried on where they had left off before the international break to ensure it was a chastening return to Anfield for Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
Once again Mo Salah led the way as his deadly first-half double did the damage. His left foot is a wand and he has cast a spell over Kopites since his summer move from Roma.
The Egyptian winger, who departed to a thunderous ovation and a Klopp bear hug late on, has surpassed all expectations. In a world of ridiculously inflated transfer fees his £36.9million price tag looks like the signing of the season.
He now boasts 14 goals in just 18 appearances for the Reds. Put into context nobody scored more than that for the club in the whole of last season.
His dazzling return of nine league goals in his first dozen top-flight outings for Liverpool is the best of the Premier League era – surpassing Robbie Fowler's tally of eight.
Few can claim to be more prolific than 'God'. Chelsea's loss is Liverpool's gain.
Salah maybe top of the Premier League scoring charts but this was far from a one-man demolition job. The Reds were impressive in all departments.
This was the first time Klopp had unleashed the attacking quartet of Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho from the start of a league game and they purred with intent.
They complement each other so well – the perfect mix of perspiration and inspiration. Southampton simply couldn't handle their movement and ingenuity.
Mane, who has passed fit after a hamstring scare, tormented his former club as he cut in off the left to wreak havoc.
They know the Reds put one over them when they secured the services of the Senegal international for just £30million last year. He's now worth more than double that figure.
Firmino set the tone with his tireless work rate, while Coutinho flourished in an advanced central midfield role. Saints made the fatal mistake of giving him space and he duly punished them.
The little Brazilian, who had missed the Reds' previous three matches with a groin injury, capped a fine display by wrapping up the points with the third goal. The Kop are chanting his name once again.
This was a mightily impressive team performance from Klopp's men.
They didn't fly out of the traps. They didn't take any unnecessary risks. They played with real maturity and control.
This wasn't one of those days when the visitors parked the bus and simply challenged the hosts to find a way through.
Saints did try to swing a few punches of their own with Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond getting up in support of Shane Long, but they failed to lay a glove on the Reds.
With Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum rock-solid behind Coutinho, there was a decent balance to the side.
Young Trent Alexander-Arnold excelled at right-back and Alberto Moreno, who missed the birth of his son after opting to stay with the squad, maintained his excellent form on the other flank.
There was also the sight of Dejan Lovren earning applause rather than brickbats.
Joel Matip's thigh problem meant that the Croatia international was handed his first start since last month's shambles against Tottenham.
Lovren could hold his head high. Tougher tests await with Tuesday's trip to Sevilla in the Champions League followed by next weekend's visit of Chelsea to Anfield.
But this was a decent step forward for him. Rather than wilt at the hands of the boo boys in the away end, he silenced them with some crucial blocks and interceptions.
Since last month's debacle at Wembley, Klopp has summoned the perfect response with 13 goals scored and just one conceded.
For all the talk of defensive woes, Liverpool have only let in one league goal at Anfield in nine hours of football so far this season.
Yes, the past few months haven't been plain sailing with some punishing setbacks on their travels, but with key personnel returning there's good reason to believe that momentum can be maintained.
Thirteen games in the space of 44 days will certainly test the depth of Klopp's squad, but with James Milner, Joe Gomez, Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can, Dom Solanke on the bench here and Adam Lallana set to return, the boss certainly isn't short of options.
Liverpool failed to score in all four meetings with Saints last season but a repeat never looked likely as they gradually cranked up the pressure in the first half.
Wijnaldum's strike was pushed away by Fraser Forster, who was then called upon to claw Coutinho's low drive behind.
Just past the half hour mark the breakthrough arrived. It was testament to Firmino's tenacity as he picked Tadic's pocket 20 yards out.
Ragnar Klavan and Wijnaldum combined to tee up Salah, who unleashed an unstoppable curler from the edge of the box.
Four minutes before the break it was 2-0. Coutinho's pass delivered with the outside of his right boot was exquisite and Salah ensured it got the finish it deserved.
In the second half Saints briefly rallied and Lovren did brilliantly to thwart Sofiane Boufal. There was a roar from the stands and a fist pump from his boss.
Liverpool swiftly regained the initiative with Firmino going close after being expertly set up by the marauding Alexander-Arnold.
Some of the Reds' incisive build up play was sublime. Coutinho fired wide after slaloming his way through but he soon made amends.
Firmino's piledriver from Mane's flick hit Forster and Coutinho was on hand to tuck away the rebound for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Liverpool cruised to the end as Coutinho, Mane and Salah were all given a breather.
This time it was Southampton's turn to take their medicine. The Reds are in rude health.
Source: Liverpool Echo
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