Liverpool romped into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup with a 6-1 demolition job away against Southampton on Wednesday evening.
It was the home side who struck first within the first minute when Sadio Mane converted Ryan Bertrand's cross.
The Reds were soon level with Daniel Sturridge scoring in his first start in almost two months and he put the Merseyside outfit in front just four minutes later when he slotted his first-time finish past Maarten Stekelenburg.
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Divock Origi registered his first goal for Liverpool on the stroke of half-time and the Belgium international struck twice after the break, with Jordon Ibe also netting when coming off the bench.
Jurgen Klopp's men now face Stoke City for a place in the final after the new year and there were several things learned from the match.
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Sturridge has natural goalscoring ability
It's hard to deny that Liverpool have been disappointing in front of goal this term, especially on home surface.
They've missed the killer instinct in the final third. Both Klopp and Brendan Rodgers have desperately waited for Sturridge to get himself fit and ready and you can see why.
The England international was given a stern warning by his new manager when he pulled out of the Reds' Europa League match against Bordeaux.
Sturridge reacted to the criticism in the greatest manner possible and showed his boss he can perform and fire Liverpool to glory.
The 26-year-old looked rusty in the early stages, much like when he came off the bench against Swansea City on Sunday.
Nonetheless, the ex-Chelsea man is still ruthless in front of goal and has retained all of his goalscoring ability.
He'd netted 42 goals from 71 appearances heading into the match at St Mary's and, on his day, is one of the best strikers in the world.
His Liverpool record speaks for itself and he devastated the Saints within a matter of minutes
Sturridge's class got him out of trouble for his first goal. His first touch was well below par following Joe Allen's well-spotted pass, taking it away from the target. At an acute angle, the Birmingham-born striker kept composed and used his quick feet to fool Steven Caulker, and fired his effort low into the far corner.
For his second, his pace was too much for Ronald Koeman's rearguard, with Sturridge's burst of speed finding him space in behind. Emre Can was the provider this time and Sturridge smartly took the chance first time and slotted his effort home with his unfavoured right foot.
He made a statement to his manager, fans and anyone else who doubted his willingness that he's now fit and ready to get back to scoring goals.
Origi Has Talent
Divock Origi hasn't had the easiest of times at Anfield.
He struggled to settle in the early stages of his Liverpool career and was given a significant amount of responsibility during Klopp's first few matches when no other recognised striker was available.
It's sometimes hard to forget that he is still only 20-years-old considering how long he's been on the scene for and he was the subject of a big money move.
After a frustrating spell out of the team, he was handed plenty of faith by Klopp to start alongside Sturridge. The Belgium international showed his manager the utmost amount of gratitude for the call-up and has left the German with plenty of food for thought.
Origi could only have dreamed about bagging a hat-trick on the long journey to the south coast. His dream turned into reality.
The former Lille man's first goal on the stroke of half-time was fortunate, with his subtle touch steering Alberto Moreno's drilled strike into the back of the net. Nonetheless, he is a striker and poaching comes as a second nature.
Origi's second was pure class and shows just how much confidence he was playing with on Wednesday evening. He latched on to Ibe's through ball and, instead of waiting for numbers to join him in the box, fired his effort early with plenty of power into the top corner.
Origi displayed great movement inside the box to meet Brad Smith's cross with his head to grab his third and he'll be hoping for more opportunities this campaign.
Problems remain with Moreno
It was almost the perfect performance from Liverpool but for the first few minutes of the match.
They were not out of the starting blocks quick enough and they paid the price.
Connor Randall was given the tough task of marking Dusan Tadic and Bertrand. For a young lad, he was always going to get targeted and exposed in the early stages.
He wasn't helped by Can's poor defending when Bertrand whipped the ball into the area.
Mane is a presence in and around the box and Klopp would have warned his side about sticking to the Senegal-born attacker. He struck after just 45 seconds.
Mane escaped Moreno, who was caught dozing at the back post. This is not the first time the Spaniard has committed a crime like this, and it's likely it won't be the last.
Moreno's performance was typically how he has performed all season; superb going forward, but not good enough in his defensive duties.
Luckily enough Liverpool got back into the game, but on another day the error could well have cost them.
A Realistic Chance
The Reds have marched into the last four of the Capital One Cup for a second successive year.
Fans will be much more upbeat about their side's chances of reaching Wembley this time around than 12 months ago.
Liverpool were faced with the difficult task of knocking out a Chelsea side who were firing on all cylinders last term and were unlucky not to dump out the eventual winners.
Every Kopite in the land hoped the Merseyside outfit drew Stoke City following the Southampton win. Their wishes came true.
Two legs against Everton would have been two matches fuelled with passion and anything could happen. Manchester City are the favourites for the competition and, although Liverpool thrashed them 4-1 last month, they still are the class side who would be in the hunt for revenge.
It's not that Stoke will be a simple task - far from it - it's just that, based on this season's form, they are weaker than the others.
If Klopp can produce another mastermind to see off the Staffordshire outfit, it will be an outstanding achievement.
He's completely reversed the fortunes of Liverpool and a trophy would put the icing on the cake.
Do you think Liverpool can win the Capital One Cup? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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