Liverpool got their season up and running with a convincing 4-0 victory over a defiant Stoke at Anfield.
Steven Gerrard created the first goal of the season for Fernando Torres, the Spaniard drilling home from 12-yards early on.
Glen Johnson, on his home debut, hooked in the second a minute from the break, Dirk Kuyt stabbed home the third from a Gerrard pass after 78 minutes, with David Ngog heading the fourth in injury-time.
Benitez bought Johnson, he claimed, to provided that extra adventure in difficult home games. He scored a close range goal on half-time on his home debut, to add to Fernando Torres' fourth-minute opener, and aided Gerrard's advance to set up the third for Dirk Kuyt.
Johnson's run and cross in injury-time presented substitute David Ngog with the fourth to cap an outstanding home debut for the new full-back.
It was the Reds` record signing, Torres, who struck quickly to give the Reds the lead after just four minutes.
Gerrard burst through on the right to pull the ball back for his Spanish side-kick to drill past a helpless Thomas Sorensen.
Kuyt and Torres had shots saved and from a 44th minute corner the home side struck again. Kuyt's low header was blocked by Sorensen on the line and the ball fell for #17million signing Johnson to hook home from six yards.
The third goal arrived after 78 minutes, with Johnson sending Gerrard into the box with a clever pass. The Liverpool captain powered on to drill in a low cross which Kuyt slid past Sorensen from close range.
And Ngog headed home from under the bar after another fine run and cross from Johnson had deflected into his path in injury-time.
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