ASHES fever is set to grip the nation so, with the First Test in Brisbane almost here, it was perhaps to be expected the week would begin with a declaration.
Rarely do you get an opportunity to amass a cricket score in a football match but, on Saturday evening, Liverpool had a glorious chance to put their goal difference back in credit for the first time this season and give Anfield a night to truly savour.
That Liverpool failed to add to the three strikes they scored in the first 45 minutes of one of the most one-sided games you are ever likely to see will, in all likelihood, go down as one of the mysteries of this increasingly topsy-turvy season.
It was, in a way, frustrating. With conditions in favour of heavy scoring - spineless opponents in total, tactical chaos - Roy Hodgson's biggest Premier League victory as Liverpool manager should really have been by a landslide.
As England's cricketers will discover in Australia, openings of this nature do not come around all that often and, when they do, it is imperative they are seized upon; with the table becoming more and more crowded, every goal scored this year will prove crucial.
But, then again, it is churlish to quibble. Straightforward, stress-free evenings for Liverpool have been few and far between in the last 18 months, so to see them contemptuously swat inferior rivals aside was hugely reassuring.
'It was important to win and I thought we did it with some style,' Hodgson pointed out. 'I think there are going to be lots of situations in the coming months where momentum will be gained and lost by teams. There are no games where you can safely predict the result in this league.'
Finding momentum - and then maintaining it - is imperative, though, if Liverpool are going to start settling back into more familiar surrounds but, whisper it quietly, there is evidence to suggest the Reds are rediscovering the art of consistency.
Making such a statement may sound ridiculous, given the wounds of the Britannia Stadium debacle are still fresh, but it is impossible to argue with figures and since losing to Everton on October 17, Liverpool's points to games ratio is the second best in the division.
Only Manchester United (14) can better Liverpool's haul of 13 points from the last 18 available; Arsenal's free-flowing football has brought them 12 in the same period while the nation's favourite club, Tottenham Hotspur, have managed a haul of eight, one fewer than Chelsea.