It was business as usual at Anfield on Thursday night when a clinical display by the home team ensured a crushing 3-0 win over FC Gomel and entry into the final qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Cup.
Admittedly FC Gomel were not top notch opposition but that fact did not take the gloss off the shine of a superb Liverpool performance.
Brendan Rodgers in his first home game in charge had the luxury of fielding his strongest 11 and the team that was let loose on the pitch did not disappoint.
Luis Suarez in particular, and fresh off a new contract extension, was magical. His quick feet and dazzling interlink play were the catalysts for the first two Liverpool goals.
Fabio Borini was also making his Anfield debut. Much has been said about the talents of the young Italian and going by his performance on the night it would seem that Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool invested very well.
The Italian was a constant threat, harrying the Gomel defenders time after time and marking his all round eye-catching performance with a clinical finish to the bottom left corner of the Gomel goal for Liverpool's opening goal in the 20th minute. Great work by Suarez on the left made the goal possible but Borini still had a lot of work to do to ensure that his sweetly struck volley found its way to the net.
Four minutes to the break Suarez was at it again, waltzing past several Gomel Defenders before setting up Captain fantastic Steven Gerrard for the simplest of finishes.
Liverpool were by this time controlling the play. Lucas Leiva was marshalling the midfield well and the defence was rarely tested in the first half save for two shots by Igor Voronkov and Sergei Kozeka that Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina was able to handle.
It was much of the same in the second half Liverpool applying a high tempo pressing game that had the Gomel back four working their socks off to keep the marauding Reds at bay.
The best was saved for the last when after a poor clearance from a Gomel Defender Glen Johnson was at hand to chest the ball and hit a superb strike from 25 yards to make it 3-0.
Brendan Rodgers will be pleased with the work ethic of his players. The smooth passing game that he so adores is slowly creeping into the system of play and the verve and determination of the players was a pleasing spectacle to watch.
Liverpool are still a long way off from being at their very best but on the evidence of the imperious performance against FC Gomel the club will be a distinctly improved outfit come next season.
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