What a refreshing change, after the dross of the DW Stadium and the long balls in Lille, how good was it to see Liverpool playing some fantastic football?

Yes, Portsmouth were pretty piss poor, but Liverpool took full advantage in a stylish and confident display. In the first half especially Liverpool threatened to run riot over Pompey, the Torres-Gerrard combination was back, Maxi Rodriguez was finding space here, there and everywhere and Alberto Aquilani looked like he could live upto the £18 million price tag.

As previously mentioned in the after-game thoughts against Lille, the isolation of Torres and lack of creative movement in midfield led to a stale attacking display. But at Anfield on Monday night there was an evident shift in emphasis. The inclusion of Alberto Aquilani was key to this particular transition.

While Aquilani's starting position was essentially alongside Javier Mascherano in a holding role, his progressive forward runs left him unmarked on many occasions in dangerous areas. It was interesting to see Michael Brown had clearly been given the job of 'man marking' Steven Gerrard, yet Pompey did not count on the forward runs of Aquilani from deep.

Maxi Rodriguez's movement was also refreshing, while not the greatest in possession, the Argentine seems to have a clever mind and shows a willingness to pick out space and link up play. With Glen Johnson occassionally bombing forward from right-back, the make-up of Liverpool's attacking threat suddenly looked alot brighter. Fernando Torres re-discovered his shooting boots and looked dangerous all night, a major plus with Old Trafford on the horizon.

It would be a surprise if Benitez does not adapt a similar attacking approach in Thursday's game against Lille. However, even if Aquilani shines again, the inclusion of Lucas Leiva for a more disiciplined display at Old Trafford next weekend would surely make sense.