Jurgen Klopp returned to Liverpool’s touchline in the Premier League after surgery ruled him out against Sunderland last weekend.
The Reds suffered a late knockout against West Ham in the FA Cup, so they required a lift. Lucas Leiva and Adam Lallana were ruled out through injuries but Daniel Sturridge made a rare start, having returned from injury.
After 16 minutes he made an immediate impact with the opening goal being a header from a Coutinho pass on the left. Indeed the Brazilian was instrumental on the day, himself a returnee from injury. Liverpool have been playing in recent months with Roberto Firmino as the lone striker and it’s made a massive difference in this game to have Sturridge back, and later Divock Origi came on in place of him. Origi was also out through injury for over a month.
On 26 minutes James Milner didn’t intend to score but his cross was missed by everyone and found its way for the second goal.
With an hour to go Firmino found Emre Can outside the box and the German still had a lot of work to do, controlled it and fired a long ranger into goal to put the visitors three goals up.
Soon after that Liverpool won the ball high up the pitch well, then the loose ball fell to Coutinho who produced a great through-ball to find Origi. The Belgian had only just come on, used his pace and easily scored the fourth.
Moments later, Liverpool added a humiliating fifth after some chaotic defending inside the Villa defence allowed Nathaniel Clyne to tap in from close range.
But there was still more for Villa to endure, with Kolo Toure ducking to head in his first-ever Liverpool goal after some shambolic defending inside the area.
With Benteke coming on the scoring fiesta had stopped, which is a pity as the Belgian striker was needing confidence in goal.