Liverpool used the frustration and anger of their defeat in the Capital One Cup final as motivation to beat the same opponents Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday night, argues Jordan Henderson.
The Reds skipper and his teammates fell short on penalties at the weekend having drawn 1-1 with City after extra-time and had to take Manuel Pellegrini's men on again just four days later.
But at the second attempt, they were convincing winners after Adam Lallana's opportunistic drive from range handed them the lead, ex-City midfielder James Milner doubling the advantage before the break as he finished from Roberto Firmino's pass.
In the second-half, Firmino got on the scoresheet himself as the Reds countered when Nicolas Otamendi had miscontrolled, allowing Henderson to find Lallana, who ran through the heart of City's defence before setting up Firmino for a placed finish in front of the Kop.
Henderson impressed by Reds' bounce back
Speaking afterwards, Henderson explained to Liverpoolfc.com that the gut-wrenching Wembley defeat at the hands of City just days earlier served as added incentive at Anfield.
"We definitely channelled the anger," declared the England international, who said that City "took something" from him and his teammates that they "maybe deserved" but insisted: "Tonight we made sure that we took the three points.
He explained that the Liverpool dressing room knew that they "had to bounce back from the weekend" as he said that the game was played in "very difficult circumstances with only three days between."
Henderson, who said their focus was "just solely on winning the game", lauded the home side's performance as "brilliant" as they completed a league double over City.
Flanagan layed down the gauntlet, says captain
The tempo was set inside just 20 seconds as Jon Flanagan snapped into an early 50-50 challenge with former teammate Raheem Sterling, and Henderson believes the Scouse full-back's performance on his first league start in almost two years was exemplary.
"I think Flanno definitely set the tempo of the game," explained the 25-year-old, who said "the fans lifted that extra little bit" after his early tackle on Sterling which then lifted "the whole team" and so served as "a big moment in the game."
Flanagan was amongst a number of those who didn't feature in the cup final and Henderson admitted that there were "a lot of players who came in who didn't play at the weekend" who will have been "disappointed that they didn't play" - but he praised their attitudes as he added: "They've channelled that in the right way. They were outstanding"
Henderson calls upon Liverpool to maintain form
The Reds' No.14 insists that the emphatic victory must now act as a springboard for the remainder of the season, with Liverpool six points off fourth-place with an extra game to play.
He labelled their opponents, City, as "a very good team" but said Jürgen Klopp's team have "played very well against them" in their three meetings this season.
He rued that they couldn't play as well as they did under the floodlights on Merseyside under the arch of Wembley, but said the "response was brilliant" and that they should be aiming to "carry that form on for the rest of the season."