BRENDAN RODGERS says picking up maximum points against Swansea City was just what Liverpool needed after an arduous week.

The Reds headed into yesterday’s game at Anfield having suffered back-to-back defeats in games with West Bromwich Albion and Zenit St Petersburg.

Liverpool also started the match without a win in the Premier League since January 19 but they returned to form in thumping fashion, sending five goals past Rodgers’ former employers.

Four goals in a storming second half performance added to Steven Gerrard’s earlier penalty handed Liverpool the points and moves them seventh in the standings, just three points behind Everton.

“It was an important three points,” said Rodgers, who defeated Swansea for the first time in three attempts since taking over at Liverpool.

“We’ve been down a bit of a rocky road this week in terms of the games on Monday and Thursday.

“But the Premier League is very important to us and we knew we had to go out with commitment today against a Swansea team that has been brilliant this season.

“It was an outstanding performance and we really showed our character and mental toughness today to get a performance like that.

“Going into the game it was about keeping a clean sheet because in the last four games, we haven’t been at our best defensively. So I was very pleased.

“We looked to dominate and create chances and we did. Like in any game of football, it’s important that you start the second half well and in that little period, we scored three goals and that really gave us extra confidence.”

And the afternoon held special significance for 20-year-old Brazilian Philippe Countinho who was amongst the scorers on his full debut for Liverpool.

The £8.5m signing from Inter Milan last month scored Liverpool’s second goal just after half-time to kick-start the rush of action which saw three goals in 10 minutes.

“Coutinho is a really talented player,” Rodgers added.

“He’s only 20 but he’s had good experience of playing at the highest level. He’ll take a wee bit of time to adapt to the whole tempo of the English game. He’s come from Italy where the game is a little slower but he’s a wonderful technician. You saw the quality and the speed of his passing all game – he’s got wonderful game knowledge. I’ve got high hopes for him. I’m sure he’ll progress very well.”