London: Captain Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to their first Premier League success away from Anfield since September.
Two goals from Suarez, plus Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling strikes, secured the most comfortable of victories — a 5-0 win — over Tottenham Hotspur, who had Paulinho sent-off.
The only disappointment for Liverpool was they did not win by an ever greater margin, as they struck the woodwork twice and squandered a number of good chances.
With Steven Gerrard out and Daniel Agger on the bench, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers handed the captain’s armband to Suarez. It was Suarez who opened the scoring for the Reds and the Uruguayan could easily have hit a first-half hat-trick.
Liverpool started the game brilliantly and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead in the 18th minute. Michael Dawson cut out a Joe Allen pass, but Henderson picked up the loose ball and played in Suarez, who skipped over an Etienne Capoue challenge before scoring.
Four minutes later, Suarez should have doubled his and Liverpool’s tally. Sterling, who was superb during the first half, split the Tottenham defence and Suarez tried to put the ball through the legs of Hugo Lloris. But the French ’keeper managed to make enough contact with the ball to divert it out for a corner.
Lloris breathed a huge sigh of relief, when Suarez squandered his best chance of the opening period.
A long punt out of defence from Martin Skrtel was misjudged by the onrushing Lloris, who succeeded only in back-heading the ball into his own area for Suarez.
It looked to be a certain goal, but Suarez opted not to shoot first time with his left foot and by the time he had pulled the ball back on to his right, Lloris had recovered to save.
Roy Hodgson was in the White Hart Lane stands. The performance of Suarez may have struck fear into the heart of the England boss, but he will have been greatly encouraged by the displays of Henderson and Sterling.
Philippe Coutinho hit the crossbar and Glen Johnson shot just over the bar, before Liverpool finally gave themselves a two-goal cushion.
Sterling played a pass over the Tottenham defence and Coutinho helped the ball into the path of Henderson. His shot was saved and Suarez’s follow-up was also saved. But Henderson managed to steer the second rebound into the net.
Tottenham had barely managed to threaten before the break. Nacer Chadli headed wide and substitute Lewis Holtby missed the target from a Roberto Soldado cross.
Soldado was presented with an early second-half chance to fire Spurs back into the game, but shot wastefully over the bar. Moments later, Liverpool went within inches of killing the contest as Mamadou Sakho headed a Sterling cross against the post and Skrtel skied the rebound into the crowd.