The London Stadium hadn't witnessed a performance this sublime since Usain Bolt struck gold.

Liverpool flew out of the blocks and didn't look back as West Ham were blown away in the capital.

The scenes after the final whistle as Jurgen Klopp's men celebrated with the 3,000-strong travelling Kop laid bare the importance of the spoils.

With the pressure cranked up to fever pitch following wins for Manchester City and Arsenal 24 hours earlier, the Reds rose to the occasion and delivered.

They didn't just grind it out, they did it in supreme style with the kind of rampant attacking masterclass not seen since the turn of the year.

A revived Daniel Sturridge marked his first Premier League start for four months with the opener before the outstanding Philippe Coutinho wrapped up the points with a quickfire double early in the second half. It was left to Divock Origi to put the icing on the cake.

Champions League football is now within Liverpool's grasp. Only relegated Middlesbrough stand between them and a return to Europe's elite.

Win at Anfield next Sunday and the Reds won't be denied. They will be back where they belong after a painful three-year absence and that iconic anthem will once again ring out across L4.

A rollercoaster campaign which appeared in serious danger of lurching towards failure will instead be deemed a success.

Of course a top-four finish wasn't the prize Kopites were dreaming of back in November after such a blistering a start to the season.

But considering the hurdles Klopp has faced since then it would be an achievement worth raising a glass to.

None of their rivals have been plagued by the kind of injury woes which have so frequently deprived the manager of his top talent.

And the naysayers need to remember that Liverpool have only finished higher than sixth once in the last seven seasons.

The task this summer is to ensure that the Reds have greater strength in depth to maintain a challenge both at home and abroad and that will be made significantly easier by the riches and the prestige of being in the Champions League.

A contest many Kopites approached with a sense of trepidation turned into a procession as fans were transported back to the dizzy heights of autumn when they were regularly humiliating modest opposition with ease.

The fact this demolition job was achieved without Sadio Mane , Roberto Firmino or Jordan Henderson made it all the more impressive.

Accused of being far too cautious in recent weeks, this was the afternoon when Klopp took the handbrake off.

The Liverpool boss was bold – handing starts to Sturridge and Adam Lallana in place of the injured Firmino and Lucas Leiva.

Klopp's tactical tweaks paid a rich dividends as his midfield diamond sparkled.

Nobody shone brighter than Coutinho, who pulled the strings after being given a central role and tormented the Hammers throughout.

The majestic little Brazilian is now the Reds' joint top scorer with 13 goals this season – the best return of his Anfield career.

Fortune certainly favoured the brave in the capital. Andre Ayew produced one of the misses of the season at a pivotal time and the Reds' third goal came seconds after Gini Wijnaldum had handled inside his own box.

But Liverpool deserved those slices of luck. There was a gulf in class throughout and the margin of victory could have been greater against a depleted West Ham side who proved to be the perfect hosts.

The Reds looked so much more fluent and effective going forward with the tireless Wijnaldum and Coutinho operating either side of Can and Lallana flourishing at the tip of the diamond.

It's been a torrid season for Sturridge, who was only making his sixth top-flight start. However, here was a timely reminder of the fact that when fully fit there are few better Premier League marksmen.

His movement gave Liverpool an attacking dimension they have lacked of late as he repeatedly stretched a Hammers' backline which had kept four clean sheets during a five-game unbeaten run.

Simon Mignolet made a smart save from Edimilson Fernandes early on but for the most part the Reds were firmly in the ascendancy.

After Joel Matip's header struck the bar, Klopp's men continued to probe.

It took a fine block from James Collins to thwart Coutinho before Sturridge fired into the side netting.

Ten minutes before the break Liverpool deservedly went in front.

Coutinho spotted Sturridge's intelligent run and picked him out with a sublime pass. The striker skipped past Adrian and coolly slotted home.

The Reds were cruising but on the brink of half-time they enjoyed a major let-off.

They failed to deal with Manuel Lanzini's corner and it dropped to Ayew two yards out. The Ghanaian frontman looked destined to score but stabbed it against the post.

The rebound gave him a second bite at the cherry but, remarkably, he struck the woodwork again and Liverpool survived.

From then on the outcome was never in doubt. Klopp's side stepped up a gear in the second half and West Ham simply couldn't live with them.

Origi's strike was beaten away by the over-worked Adrian, who then produced fine saves to deny Lallana and Wijnaldum.

Two goals in the space of four minutes killed off the contest.

After Wijnaldum's spectacular volley hit the bar, Coutinho latched on to Winston Reid's clearing header, weaving his way into space and drilling into the bottom corner.

The third was laced with controversy. The Hammers were demanding a penalty when Wijnaldum appeared to handle inside the box but, much to their disgust, Neil Swarbrick waved play on.

Salts was rubbed into gaping wounds as the Reds countered to devastating effect. The Dutchman teed up Coutinho, who skipped past Collins and emphatically hammered home.

Origi's piledriver clipped the bar before the young Belgian's persistence finally paid off. Wijnaldum's scuffed shot dropped kindly into his path and he accepted the gift from close range.

The rout was complete.

Just when Liverpool appeared to have taken one stumble too many, they have rediscovered their swagger.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.