Liverpool 4-0 Burnley
The top-flight new boys had started the season so well with wins over
They could not live with a vibrant
Benayoun scored his first from the edge of the box, and saw his shot parried by the overworked Brian Jensen for Dirk Kuyt to add the second before the break.
Steven Gerrard’s pass set up Benayoun for his second, a close-range tap-in, before the Israeli was sent clear by substitute Andriy Voronin for his third and
Rafael Benitez made two changes from the side which won at
With Javier Mascherano suffering a muscle injury while on international duty with Argentina and not arriving back until late Friday, Benayoun came into the side.
And what a tremendous impact he made, with a goal and a display of running power that
The Clarets, in their first league visit to Anfield for 33 years, retained the side that lost at
The absence of Mascherano meant that Steven Gerrard played in a much deeper role, alongside Lucas in the centre of midfield, with Benayoun and Kuyt left to play just behind Fernando Torres.
The lively Israel captain broke the deadlock with a gem of a goal after 27 minutes.
He surged from midfield, turned away from Graham Alexander and moved into the box to fire across Jensen and into the bottom corner.
Benayoun almost added another a minute later when he met Albert Riera’s cross with a low header that Jensen blocked, the
Jensen had to keep out drives from Benayoun and Lucas before Paterson forced his way past Gerrard to unleash a rising drive that was held by Jose Reina.
Torres and Insua combined to set up Benayoun for a 20-yard shot that Jensen blocked, but only as far as Kuyt who clipped home from five yards.
The increasingly busy Jensen had to produce the save of the half to keep out a Gerrard 20-yard drive before the break.
Stephen Jordan was booked for a block on Torres before
Torres was starting to stretch a tiring
But after 61 minutes Torres’ pass played in a fiercely determined Gerrard, who battered his way past two men in the box to find Benayoun on the far post for a tap-in.
Benayoun had an effort ruled out for offside and Gerrard forced his way through again to hit a post, before David Ngog took over from Torres.
There was still time for Benayoun to secure his hat-trick after 81 minutes. Voronin’s pass sent him clear in the box – played onside by Jordan – and he side-footed the ball past an exposed Jensen.
Eagles was booked for a foul on Benayoun, Jensen saved again from Gerrard and Voronin missed when clear, with