Jonjo Shelvey
copyright: REUTERS

Kenny Dalglish was supposed to be the revered elder statesman of Liverpool's renaissance under John W. Henry and the Fenway Sports Group. The guy with the club's Boot Room ethos coursing through his veins and the industrial-strength smarts to identify the next generation of English stars.

Instead, the club have stumbled to eighth in the league, winning just one more game than they have lost and scoring just 47 goals all season. February's Carling Cup triumph has been overshadowed by defeat to Chelsea in Saturday's FA Cup final and Tuesday's emphatic victory against the same opponents will do little to mask the inadequacies of Dalglish's squad.

Goals from Jordan Henderson, Daniel Agger and Jonjo Shelvey, together with an own-goal from Michael Essien, saw Liverpool run out 4-1 winners for their biggest league victory of the season.

"I think the players will be happy to finish on a high at Anfield," Dalglish told the BBC.

"That performance was on a par with a lot of other performances where we've not had the result. Against Chelsea we got that."

The performance ensured Dalglish's job concerns will be temporarily forgotten, at least until he sits down with the club's owners at the end of the campaign, but Tuesday's victory will provide little solace for those who believe the new signings have not done enough to justify their inflated transfer fees.

Henderson and Downing banished poor displays at Wembley to attack Chelsea's brittle back-line with ease, while Andy Carroll continued his impressive run of form, providing Daniel Agger for Liverpool's third and proving a constant menace to John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.

Asked to pass judgment on Liverpool's season, Dalglish was characteristically optimistic saying: "We've got a bit of silverware back in the cupboard after six years; we're back in Europe at the first time of asking.

"We were near to winning the FA Cup final. Not a bad first season."

"I have said many times this season how well we've played but not had the break to win it."

He added: "The two young lads, Shelvey [20] and Henderson [21], in the middle of the pitch were fantastic with the work-rate they got through and both of them scored too.

"It was the same with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll up front, and I don't know how neither of them scored. Luis was fantastic for our first goal but so was everyone.

"We had a good day and it was an excellent performance."