After having their UEFA Cup dreams shattered by Celtic last Thursday, Liverpool relished their comfortable victory over troubled Leeds.
With the visitors were still reeling from Terry Venables dismissal the absence of Harry Kewell was less than welcome.
Unsurprisingly Liverpool dominated the play whilst Leeds lacked both imagination and concentration.
United keeper Paul Robinson was tested after just two minutes when he managed to produce a spectacular save to deny Danny Murphy.
But Robinson was not so lucky in the 12th minute when he came up against a Michael Owen strike.
Owen started the move by passing to Steven Gerrard who found El Hadji Diouf, and as the Senegal international centred the ball it deflected off Leeds Eirik Bakke, setting it up perfectly for Owen to send it into the back of the net.
Eight minutes later the Reds doubled their lead when players of both sides paused as John Arne Riise lay injured after a clash with Danny Mills, but an alert Murphy took advantage of the confusion and sent a brilliant 25-yarder flying past the stranded Robinson.
Leeds hit back a minute before the half time whistle thanks to a bungled clearance by Riise, who sent the ball straight to the feet of Jason Wilcox who crossed for Mark Viduka.
The Australian international’s header was parried by Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek, but that gave Viduka a second chance, from which he made no mistake.
In the 72nd minute new Leeds boss Peter Reid knew it was all over when Liverpool claimed their third goal of the game.
Owen fought to get the ball to the line and knocked it back to Gerrard, who coolly slotted the ball home to keep the Reds Champions League dreams alive.