Yossi Benayoun scores for Liverpool Fc against Burnley
YOSSI Benayoun grabbed a wonderful hat-trick as Liverpool produced a thoroughly convincing performance at Anfield against Barclays Premier League new boys Burnley.
In front of Michael Shields watching from the stands, Benayoun scored his first goal after 27 minutes from the edge of the area, and then saw his shot blocked for Dirk Kuyt to score the second before the break.
Steven Gerrard set up Benayoun to tap home the third before substitute Andriy Voronin played him in for his third and Liverpool's fourth near the end.
Liverpool made two changes to the side that won at Bolton a fortnight ago.
Martin Skrtel returned to central defence in place of Greece international Sotirios Kyrgiakos, and with Javier Mascherano picking up a muscle injury while on international duty with Argentina - and not arriving back until late yesterday - Yossi Benayoun came into midfield.
Burnley, making their first league visit to Anfield for 33 years, retained the side that lost at Chelsea last time out, with new loan signing David Nugent - a former Liverpool trainee - on the bench.
The absence of Mascherano meant that Steven Gerrard played in a much deeper role, alongside Lucas Leiva in the centre of midfield.
Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt were left to play just behind Fernando Torres.
Burnley started brightly with Martin Paterson firing wide from the edge of the box, while Kuyt produced a low shot at the other end that was saved by Brian Jensen.
Liverpool slowly built up possession, moving the ball quickly, and Torres saw a curling 20-yard shot go over, but Burnley had Steven Fletcher and Paterson inter-changing positions up front and the visitors were quick and dangerous on the break.
Kuyt and Skrtel also saw long-range efforts fly wide, and despite Liverpool keeping a decent tempo going, Jensen was not being troubled.
Liverpool's best chance so far came after 23 minutes when Emiliano Insua's chip was headed a foot wide by Benayoun.
But four minutes later the lively Israel captain broke the deadlock with a gem of a goal.