Mario Balotelli made a promising debut as Brendan Rodgers celebrated his 100th game in charge of Liverpool with a 3-0 win at Tottenham.
Rodgers insisted in the build-up to Sunday’s fixture that his club would not become ‘the Balotelli show’ but the controversial striker went straight into the starting line-up at the expense of Philippe Coutinho.
Captain Steven Gerrard also joked that the Italy international had already made an impact with his new team-mates by changing the pre-match music in the dressing room and he certainly looked at ease from the outset.
An early header almost gave Balotelli a dream start and he linked up well with fellow forwards Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge for the hour he was on to help Liverpool bounce back from Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City and follow up last season’s 5-0 and 4-0 victories over Tottenham with another emphatic Premier League romp.
It was England starlet Sterling, with Roy Hodgson watching on from the White Hart Lane stands ahead of the upcoming double-header against Norway and Switzerland, who put the visitors on the road to victory when finishing off a neat early break.
Gerrard, who will not be involved in England’s matches after recently calling time on his international career, doubled the lead from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half and Alberto Moreno opened his account for Liverpool in some style as Tottenham fell to their first defeat under Mauricio Pochettino.
As well as bringing in Balotelli, Liverpool also made two changes in defence, with Mamadou Sakho and Javier Manquillo replacing Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel, but Adam Lallana did not make the squad despite travelling to London after recovering from injury.