LIVERPOOL FC returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as they thrashed Swansea City 5-0 in the Premier League at Anfield.

It was the perfect afternoon for boss Brendan Rodgers against his former club as the Reds bounced back following the damaging defeats to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg.

Skipper Steven Gerrard put the hosts on track when he fired home the opener from the penalty spot before the break.

In the second half Liverpool ran riot with £8.5million Brazilian Philippe Coutinho marking his full debut with a goal before Jose Enrique added a third.

Luis Suarez grabbed his 23rd goal of the campaign and Daniel Sturridge completed the scoring with another spot-kick as the Reds climbed back up to seventh in the Premier League.

Rodgers made four changes following the trip to Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday night.

New boy Coutinho was handed a start, while the Reds welcomed back Sturridge after a thigh injury, along with Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva.

Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel all dropped to the bench.

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup clearly had one eye on next weekend's Capital One Cup final against Bradford City as he rested a number of first team regulars, including top scorer Michu and skipper Ashley Williams.

Liverpool dominated from the start with Stewart Downing volleying wide early on before Suarez fired straight at Michel Vorm after a neat lay-off from Sturridge.

The hosts looked a lot more potent with Sturridge back in the side with Suarez wreaking havoc just behind him.

After Gerrard's 20-yard free-kick was blocked by the wall, the rebound dropped kindly to Suarez but he lashed it over the bar.

Swansea remained firmly on the back foot but it was a familiar story for the Reds as they struggled to make it count.

Midway through the first half Sturridge nodded wastefully over from Downing's cross and then the £12million striker had appeals for a penalty waved away after being upended by Kyle Bartley.

The loose ball should have been converted by Coutinho but he dragged his shot wide of the upright.

Ten minutes finally the interval the breakthrough finally arrived. Gerrard's deep corner found its way to Suarez at the far post and he burst past Kemy Agustien towards the byline.

The midfielder cynically tripped him and this time Howard Webb pointed to the spot. Having seen a penalty saved in the defeat to West Brom six days earlier, this time Gerrard made no mistake as he drilled it into the bottom corner.

Relief engulfed Anfield and buoyed by the goal, Liverpool pressed forward in search of greater reward.

Just 16 seconds into the second half the points were ruthlessly wrapped up.

Coutinho raced on to Suarez's pass and as Garry Monk backed off, the Brazilian cashed in. Vorm got a leg to his right-footed strike but couldn't keep it out.

Liverpool were rampant and in the 50th minute a stunning team move brought a third goal.

Sturridge, Enrique, Coutinho and Suarez were all involved. It was slick and incisive and ended with Enrique meeting Sturridge's pass with a clinical first-time finish into the roof of the net.

Six minutes later it was 4-0. Downing picked out Suarez and he skipped away from Bartley and Monk before planting a shot into the bottom corner.

Coutinho departed on the hour to a standing ovation but with substitute Jordan Henderson instantly impressing there was no let-up for the ragged Swans.

Suarez and Sturridge both went close to extending Liverpool's advantage before the hosts grabbed a fifth with 18 minutes to go.

It came from another penalty after substitute Wayne Routledge senselessly handled Enrique's cross into the area.

Gerrard gave Sturridge the opportunity to get on the scoresheet and he grasped it – beating Vorm comfortably from 12 yards.

Liverpool could have had more joy late on with Sturridge hitting the bar and Johnson firing just wide with Swansea just glad when the final whistle brought an end to the punishment.