Liverpool strolled past Swansea City on Boxing Day, stuffing their opponents 5-0 en route to their 11th straight unbeaten game in the Premier League.
It took just six minutes for Liverpool’s blistering attack to penetrate the Swansea defence as this evening's captain Philippe Coutinho bent a stunning effort into the top corner from 20 yards.
The Reds doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, as one Brazilian found another saw Coutinho turn provider for Roberto Firmino to fire home.
Trent Alexander-Arnold then blasted home his first Premier League goal to seal all three points for the home side.
Firmino got in on the act again with 25 minutes remaining, rolling the ball into an open net from Salah's lay-off.
After some good work inside the box, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored Liverpool's fifth of the night with the outside of his boot.
Coutinho bursts game into life
Just six minutes into the game, Coutinho received the ball from Mohamed Salah, took a touch and then whipped his shot round Federico Fernandez and into the back of the net.
The Brazilian – celebrating his 200th Liverpool appearance - has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the league this season, after Jordan Ayew was dispossessed in the buildup to Coutinho’s fine effort.
Ayew then tried to make amends for his mistake, getting on the end of Wayne Routledge’s high cross at the other end of the field but his shot was comfortably saved by Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool away last season was the result that turned Swansea’s season around under Paul Clement but the Swans were dealt an early blow in repeating last season’s heroics.
Swansea’s defence hasn’t been the source of their problems this year, and in fact only conceded three more than today’s opponents prior to kickoff, but it didn’t take long to see that this game was going to be one-way traffic and that the Swans would struggle.
Leon Britton’s side needed to score at least once in order to get anything from this game, and had scored just 11 in 19 before this game.
Since 2009-10, Swansea have averaged less shots than any side through 19 games (8.5 per game), and less shots on target than any other side (2.0 per game). [via James Yorke]
Swansea had a good spell of possession but Liverpool never looked worried defensively, and equally the home side were creating chances with Emre Can, Firmino and Salah at the other end.
Firmino then had a chance to double Liverpool’s lead after Roque Mesa gave the ball away in midfield, the ball found Firmino who went round Fernandez but his shot flew just wide.
Reds stepped up in the second half
Salah had the first effort after the restart, cutting onto his favourite left foot but his curled effort that so often this season has landed in the back of the net, ended up in Lukasz Fabianski's grateful arms.
Swansea couldn’t keep Liverpool at bay for much longer, as Coutinho whipped a free kick at the back post where Firmino was unmarked and happy to finish past Fabianski on the volley.
Questions will be asked about the marking, as Fernandez had to deal with two players and opted to leave Firmino free to score his fourth goal in four games against the Welsh side.
Salah then launched onto a lobbed ball from Andrew Robertson but Fabianski was out quickly to deny the Egyptian his 16th league goal this campaign.
Hard to keep up
Liverpool's young right-back Alexander-Arnold scored Liverpool's third, and second stunning goal of the night in front of the Kop.
The goal was a big moment for the youngster, who had a stellar game and will look to push on and start more often over Joe Gomez in Nathaniel Clyne's absence this season.
Only a minute later and Firmino was back in the goals, Swansea collapsed as Salah was able to claim his second assist of the night and tee up his strike partner.
Salah is now the first player this season to have been involved in 20 league goals this season, with his fifth assist of the term.
There was no way back for Swansea, as the hosts were able to rest Salah and Firmino with 20 minutes to go as Liverpool next host Leicester City on Saturday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain made sure of that, getting to the ball ahead of Ayew as Swansea had well and truly given up before curling an effort in with the outside of his foot.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has asked the £40 million man to get on the scoresheet more often following his move from Arsenal this summer, and the England international is starting to answer some of his critics.
Another summer signing Dominic Solanke nearly got his side's sixth of the night, trying an effort from close-range but Fabianski was equal to his effort before the striker then came ever so close with a volley as the ball dropped over his shoulder but a goal eluded the recent England international.
The result sees Liverpool move back into the top four, as they were temporarily displaced after Tottenham Hotspur's 5-2 win over Southampton earlier in the day.
Swansea stay rooted to the bottom of the league, five points adrift of West Ham United in 17th place.