Benayoun scored three times and set up the other for Dirk Kuyt
By Mandeep Sanghera
A Yossi Benayoun hat-trick inspired a dominant Liverpool to a comfortable victory over Burnley at Anfield.
The midfielder cut inside Graham Alexander and slid in a shot across keeper Brian Jensen for the opener.
Jensen could only parry Benayoun's shot at the end of a swift counter-attack and Dirk Kuyt slotted in the loose ball to extend the Reds' lead.
Benayoun then twice tapped in Steven Gerrard and Andriy Voronin passes to round off an impressive display.
The creativity produced by Israeli international Benayoun showed he can help ease the pressure on Gerrard and Fernando Torres and provided a contrast to keeper Pepe Reina's forthright words ahead of the match.
Benitez praises clever Benayoun
Reina claimed winning the Premier League was "not a realistic option" for the Reds as he revealed there was an air of "resignation" at the lack of funds spent on the squad.
He also cited an absence of enough players of "vision" at Liverpool compared to the Anfield side's rivals.
The lack of players to open up defences against teams like Burnley cost the Reds dearly last season as they twice drew with newly-promoted sides at home and dropped four points, which would have won them the title.
Benayoun - whether riled by Reina's words or not - appeared determined to prove his team-mate wrong.
He latched on to an angled Glen Johnson ball and cut inside Alexander before side footing in a shot across Jensen for his first.
Reds boss Rafael Benitez has always emphasised the importance of his side getting the opening goal to bring teams out of their shell and so it proved.
Burnley pushed forward more after going a goal down and were caught out as Liverpool sucked them in before going up the other end and scoring - Kuyt side footing in after Benayoun's shot was only parried by Jensen.
There were chants of 'where is Traore' from Burnley fans in reference to former Reds defender Djimi Traore's own goal for them when they knocked Liverpool out of the 2005 FA Cup.
But there was little threat of them instigating any such humiliation this time around.
Two Martin Paterson long-range strikes were Burnley's only threat but they were comfortably gathered by Reina as Liverpool rarely looked in trouble.
Burnley will stick to good football - Coyle
Gerrard, playing in a deeper midfield role with Javier Mascherano missing, still made an impact in attack as he forced his way into the Burnley box before squaring a ball for Benayoun to tap in.
An unmarked Benayoun again eased in from close range after Voronin's pass to emphasise the emphatic nature of the victory, while a clean sheet will also please Benitez after the side's recent struggles in defence.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: "Yossi had been away on international duty and done a lot of travelling, but he wanted to play.
"It is important to him to show his quality in every training session and every match.
"Over the seasons he has shown his value coming off the bench, but now he is showing how important he can be with movement and passing from the start."
Burnley boss Owen Coyle: "We started really well, and looked comfortable. But if you switch off against players like these, you will be punished.
"I can't argue with the result, we were playing against world-class players.
"But I was annoyed with the first goal we conceded, we backed off and allowed Yossi Benayoun to get his shot in."
90:00+3:06 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+2:01 Tyrone Mears delivers the ball, save made by Jose Reina.
90:00+0:57 David Ngog is caught offside. Brian Jensen restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+0:01 David Nugent takes a short corner. Yossi Benayoun fouled by Joey Gudjonsson, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes
the free kick.
89:24 Effort from inside the area by Andriy Voronin misses to the left of the target.
87:56 The ball is crossed by Tyrone Mears, Emiliano Insua gets a block in. Chris Eagles takes a outswinging corner from the right
by-line played to the near post, Header from deep inside the area by Clarke Carlisle goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
87:10 The assistant referee flags for offside against Steven Fletcher. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
85:59 Emiliano Insua crosses the ball, save by Brian Jensen.
85:34 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Brian Jensen makes a save. Short corner worked by Leiva Lucas.
84:15 Philipp Degen sends in a cross, David Ngog has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.
83:51 Philipp Degen takes the direct free kick.
83:51 Booking Chris Eagles goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
83:45 Foul by Chris Eagles on Yossi Benayoun, free kick awarded.
81:06 The assist for the goal came from Andriy Voronin. Unfair challenge on Brian Jensen by Yossi Benayoun results in a free kick.
Direct free kick taken by Brian Jensen.
81:06 GOAL - Yossi Benayoun:Liverpool 4 - 0 Burnley Yossi Benayoun finds the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal.
Liverpool 4-0 Burnley.
79:16 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Tyrone Mears gets a block in. Corner taken short by Yossi Benayoun.
77:51 Foul by Philipp Degen on Chris McCann, free kick awarded. Chris Eagles crosses the ball in from the free kick.
76:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Fletcher by Philipp Degen. Free kick crossed right-footed by Chris Eagles,
clearance made by Albert Riera.
75:33 The ball is swung over by Wade Elliott, save made by Jose Reina.
74:03 Substitution Graham Alexander goes off and Joey Gudjonsson comes on.
74:03 Substitution David Ngog is brought on as a substitute for Fernando Torres.
74:03 Effort from close in by Steven Gerrard bounces off the post.
73:35 The ball is delivered by Philipp Degen, clearance by Clarke Carlisle.
71:08 Unfair challenge on Albert Riera by Clarke Carlisle results in a free kick. Shot comes in from Steven Gerrard from the free
kick, save by Brian Jensen. The official flags Yossi Benayoun offside. Indirect free kick taken by Brian Jensen.
68:40 Substitution David Nugent is brought on as a substitute for Martin Paterson.
68:40 Substitution Andriy Voronin is brought on as a substitute for Dirk Kuyt.
68:32 The ball is sent over by Leiva Lucas, clearance made by Clarke Carlisle.
68:16 Philipp Degen fouled by Andre Bikey, the ref awards a free kick. Leiva Lucas takes the direct free kick.
63:17 Brian Jensen takes the direct free kick.
63:17 Substitution Philipp Degen joins the action as a substitute, replacing Glen Johnson.
63:17 Unfair challenge on Stephen Jordan by Yossi Benayoun results in a free kick.
62:23 Effort from just outside the area by Wade Elliott goes over the bar.
60:40 Steven Gerrard provided the assist for the goal.
60:40 GOAL - Yossi Benayoun:Liverpool 3 - 0 Burnley Yossi Benayoun scores a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 3-0 Burnley.
59:20 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Tyrone Mears. Yossi Benayoun takes a short corner. The ball is sent over by Glen
57:43 Substitution Robbie Blake goes off and Chris Eagles comes on.
57:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Fletcher by Leiva Lucas. Graham Alexander takes the free kick.
56:07 Martin Skrtel delivers the ball, save by Brian Jensen.
54:56 Leiva Lucas delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right by-line, clearance made by Tyrone Mears.
54:56 Booking Stephen Jordan is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
54:52 Stephen Jordan concedes a free kick for a foul on Fernando Torres.
54:35 The referee blows for offside. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
54:10 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save by Brian Jensen.
53:59 The ball is crossed by Yossi Benayoun, Andre Bikey manages to make a clearance.
53:53 Fernando Torres crosses the ball, clearance made by Andre Bikey.
51:12 Steven Gerrard fouled by Wade Elliott, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick. Albert
Riera takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Paterson. Shot from outside the area by Albert Riera misses to the left of the target.
51:07 The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard, Andre Bikey makes a clearance.
50:37 The ball is swung over by Emiliano Insua, Clarke Carlisle manages to make a clearance.
49:38 Fernando Torres delivers the ball, blocked by Stephen Jordan. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard played
to the near post, Graham Alexander makes a clearance.
48:36 Handball decision goes against Tyrone Mears. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick, Graham Alexander makes
48:06 The offside flag is raised against Martin Paterson. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
47:20 The assistant referee signals for offside against Fernando Torres. Brian Jensen restarts play with the free kick.
45:37 A cross is delivered by Yossi Benayoun, clearance made by Andre Bikey.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+2:07 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+0:55 Martin Paterson takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina. Corner taken by Robbie Blake, Clarke Carlisle takes a shot. Save by
45:00+0:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fernando Torres on Andre Bikey. Free kick taken by Graham Alexander.
43:14 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Brian Jensen makes a fantastic save. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard
from the right by-line, clearance by Clarke Carlisle. Leiva Lucas takes the inswinging corner, Albert Riera produces a left-footed
shot from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
43:02 Graham Alexander produces a cross, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.
42:35 Glen Johnson takes a shot. Save by Brian Jensen.
42:28 The ball is crossed by Leiva Lucas, Clarke Carlisle makes a clearance.
40:45 Yossi Benayoun provided the assist for the goal.
40:45 GOAL - Dirk Kuyt:Liverpool 2 - 0 Burnley Dirk Kuyt fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-0 Burnley.
40:40 Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Brian Jensen makes a save.
40:09 The ball is sent over by Chris McCann, Glen Johnson gets a block in. Robbie Blake takes a inswinging corner to the near post,
Jose Reina makes a save.
39:47 Foul by Glen Johnson on Robbie Blake, free kick awarded. Stephen Jordan takes the direct free kick.
38:36 Stephen Jordan sends in a cross.
37:54 Clarke Carlisle sends in a cross, clearance by Jamie Carragher.
37:30 The ball is crossed by Robbie Blake, Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.
36:55 Centre by Robbie Blake, clearance by Dirk Kuyt.
36:10 Albert Riera produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
34:53 Martin Paterson takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
33:23 Leiva Lucas takes a shot. Save made by Brian Jensen. Corner taken by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, clearance made
by Graham Alexander.
31:28 Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Save made by Brian Jensen.
26:50 Assist by Glen Johnson. The ball is swung over by Albert Riera, Yossi Benayoun takes a shot. Brian Jensen gets a block in.
26:50 GOAL - Yossi Benayoun:Liverpool 1 - 0 Burnley Yossi Benayoun finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool
23:46 Tyrone Mears challenges Albert Riera unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Martin Skrtel.
22:35 Centre by Emiliano Insua, Headed effort from inside the area by Yossi Benayoun misses to the left of the target.
20:57 Effort from just outside the box by Dirk Kuyt goes over the bar.
19:27 Effort from long distance by Martin Skrtel goes wide right of the goal.
16:36 Shot from long range by Fernando Torres misses to the right of the goal.
16:00 Centre by Emiliano Insua, clearance by Andre Bikey.
14:17 Glen Johnson delivers the ball, save by Brian Jensen.
13:46 Foul by Andre Bikey on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
13:02 Tyrone Mears crosses the ball, Jamie Carragher makes a clearance.
11:25 The ball is swung over by Dirk Kuyt, Clarke Carlisle makes a clearance.
7:21 Corner taken right-footed by Robbie Blake from the right by-line to the near post, Albert Riera manages to make a clearance.
6:20 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Brian Jensen makes a save.
5:32 Dirk Kuyt fouled by Wade Elliott, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
2:44 Steven Fletcher challenges Leiva Lucas unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.
2:00 Albert Riera challenges Steven Fletcher unfairly and gives away a free kick. Graham Alexander restarts play with the free
1:04 The official flags Fernando Torres offside. Indirect free kick taken by Clarke Carlisle.
0:38 Martin Paterson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
0:00 The game begins.
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