SWANSEA City suffered their worst ever Premier League defeat as Liverpool, managed by the Swans' former boss Brendan Rodgers, romped to a 5-0 victory at Anfield.
A much-changed Swansea team were in utter disarray as Liverpool leapfrogged them in the table thanks to goals from Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho, Jose Enrique, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
With next Sunday's Capital One Cup in mind, Michael Laudrup made seven alterations to the side which had beaten Queens Park Rangers last weekend.
The rotation policy backfired, however, as a ragged Swans defence conceded five goals for the first time since winning promotion to the top flight in 2011.
Rodgers, meanwhile, named a full-strength line-up as he sought to end Liverpool's five-match winless streak with a first Premier League victory against the club he left last summer.
The contrasting selections were evidence of how differently the two sides viewed the significance of this tie. For Liverpool this was a precious opportunity to alleviate mounting pressure but, for Swansea, the game seemed little more than a pre-amble to next weekend's showpiece.
That disparity was apparent in the early stages of the match, as Liverpool had ten shots on goal inside the first 20 minutes, though none troubled Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Laudrup's men were lucky not to concede a penalty after 24 minutes. Sturridge scampered into the Swans' box and got the better of Garry Monk before he was tripped by Kyle Bartley.
Referee Howard Webb ignored Liverpool's appeals and, amid the howls of protestation, Coutinho dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
The pressure from the hosts was unrelenting, and they were rewarded for their perseverance ten minutes later when they took the lead from the penalty spot.
Swansea's Kemy Agustien felled Suarez with a clumsy challenge, and his lapse in concentration was punished as Gerrard swept his spot-kick into the bottom corner.
The goal sparked a period of pandemonium in the Swans' box, with Liverpool surging forward and the rattled visiting defence struggling to contain their rampant opponents.
It remained 1-0 until half time but, with less than 20 seconds of the second half played, Liverpool doubled their lead as Coutinho finished smartly from a Suarez pass to mark his full debut with a goal.
Rodgers's side then sealed victory five minutes later as Suarez and Sturridge combined artfully to set up Jose Enrique, the left-back making it 3-0 with a shot into the roof of the net.
Liverpool had failed to score against Swansea in their three previous Premier League encounters, but they were determined to make a mockery of that statistic here.
Suarez added a fourth with a swivel and a sweet left-footed finish and, after 71 minutes, the Reds compounded the Swans' misery with a second penalty.
Substitute Wayne Routledge was deemed to have handled the ball and this time Liverpool handed the spot-kick duties to Sturridge. The outcome was the same, as the former Chelsea forward converted emphatically from 12 yards to make it Swansea's reunion with Rodgers a glum one.