Rampant Reds run riot
Andy Carroll finally repaid the first chunk of his massive £35million price tag as he scored two of the goals that helped Liverpool condemn Manchester City to a chastening 3-0 defeat at Anfield.
In a superb all-round performance, Carroll lashed home a first in quite brilliant fashion after only 12 minutes and was credited with another when Aleksandar Kolarov's header bounced off the Geordie and into the net.
Dirk Kuyt also struck, and City saw captain Carlos Tevez suffer a hamstring injury that seems certain to rule him out of the Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against bitter rivals Manchester United.
Luis Suarez had already seen a shot touched onto the post by Joe Hart when Raul Meireles let fly with a long-range shot that crashed into City centre-back Vincent Kompany. The ball ricocheted straight to Carroll, whose first-time effort was hit with far too much power for Hart to keep it out.
When Kompany got himself in the way of a Fabio Aurelio effort, he could only divert the ball across the area, straight into the path of a gleeful Kuyt, who sent a precise finish into the bottom corner.
Liverpool struck again when Kolarov won the aerial duel with Carroll from Meireles' cross, but it was a measure of City's evening that the Serb merely headed the ball against the man he was marking, from where it looped into the net.
Yet potentially, the worst moment of all for City came moments after Carroll's opener when Tevez pulled up with what he indicated was a hamstring injury.
The South American gave the signal for a pull as he made his way off the field. Mario Balotelli was immediately introduced. City's stunned fans could only hope it was a precautionary move. The reality seems certain to be rather more depressing.
Kuyt came agonisingly close to twisting the knife a little bit deeper when he flicked a header narrowly wide of the City goal at the start of the second period.
Yaya Toure brought a decent save out of Pepe Reina with a 35-yard thunderbolt, but Carroll almost had the last word when he looped a header onto the roof of the net.