Liverpool chief delighted to savour host of positives
The smile was back on Brendan Rodgers' face last night as his Liverpool side rediscovered their cutting edge.
Raheem Sterling's first goals since mid-September helped the Merseysiders end a miserable seven days with a place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals at the expense of Bournemouth.
The England winger had endured a 22-game goal drought for club and country until he set Liverpool on their way to a 3-1 away win with a close-range header.
Lazar Markovic, fresh from his controversial red card as the Reds exited Europe, grabbed the second before a trademark Sterling run ended with his fifth goal of the season to lift the gloom after their Old Trafford defeat.
Dan Gosling pulled a goal back but there was no stunning fightback.
Ulsterman Rodgers, whose side face Chelsea in the last four, said: "It was an excellent performance. I thought at Old Trafford at the weekend, while I wasn't happy with the result, I was happy with our performance and I think we carried that on this evening. Brilliant by the players, who showed a real calmness and patience with the ball.
"For 70-80 per cent of the game we controlled it. Overall, it was a great victory for us.
"I think we had control of the game, but when you show patience, movement and technique as we did tonight then we are a very, very good side. Very good goals, and we could have had a couple of others - we created a few chances tonight.
"But credit too to Bournemouth, and Eddie Howe is a fantastic manager. Hopefully they'll go on and get promoted from the Championship.
"But from us it was a team performance. It has taken us a wee while to get going this season, but hopefully we can kick on from that."