Mohamed Salah made light work of Southampton as the Egypt star scored twice to help secure a 3-0 win for Liverpool at Anfield.
He struck twice in the first half to put Jurgen Klopp’s hosts in control, while Philippe Coutinho netted after the break to see Liverpool ease to a comfortable win against the Saints.
Salah’s summer arrival for £38million, at the time a club record, was questioned by critics after his disappointing spell at Chelsea.
Having signed from Roma for a club-record fee in June, he notched the ninth goal from his first 12 Premier League appearances on Merseyside, surpassing Liverpool’s previous best of eight from 12 set by Fowler in 1993.
Coutinho, named in the side from kick-off after recovering from a thigh injury, set up Salah’s second and scored the third himself in a performance that demonstrated the continuing importance of a player targeted heavily by Barcelona in the off-season.
And the victory, Liverpool’s fourth in succession in all competitions, means they are just one point behind fourth-placed Champions League qualification rivals Spurs, who lost 2-0 at neighbours Arsenal earlier in the day, as Klopp’s attention turns to the crunch away match against Sevilla on Tuesday.