IF only Brendan Rodgers had started laying down ultimatums a couple of months earlier.

Two days ago the Kop boss demanded Liverpool started showing a ruthless, clinical streak or there could be more wholesale changes in the summer.

Well his players certainly delivered the goods yesterday. But you still cannot escape the nagging feeling that, as far as the Champions League goes, it is a case of too little, too late.

Of course you are never going to turn your nose up at a five-goal stroll.

Especially when it takes you past the number of Anfield wins and goals mustered in the whole of the previous campaign.

But there was still an over- riding sense of the Emperor’s new clothes, given all that accompanied Rodgers seeing his new employers drub his old ones.

Yes, Liverpool’s 35 shots was the most any Premier League side has managed in a single game this term. And midfielder Philippe Coutinho could not have scripted a better full debut if he had written it himself.

But not even the most one-eyed Kopite was ever going to be fooled by this — not with half of boss Michael Laudrop’s first choice line-up sitting on the bench in readiness for next week’s Capital One Cup final against Bradford.

If only Liverpool had shown anything like the same killer instinct in St Petersburg on Thursday, they would already have one foot in the Europa League’s last 16, instead of staring at the exit door.

Much of the reason for that, of course, is the fact Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are both ineligible for Thursday’s return leg as the Reds try to peg back last week’s 2-0 setback in Russia.

If both of them were available and in the sort of form they showed against the Swans, you would still probably back Liverpool to come through.

Indeed any side which can call on Luis Suarez will always fancy their chances of victory.

Suarez scored one, had a hand in three others and was a general pain in the backside for every player in white.

He was simply brilliant even though it still took Liverpool over half an hour to finally blow down the Swansea door.

With Swansea defender Ashley Williams watching from the dugout, Suarez made the most of facing Kyle Bartley and Garry Monk.

Even so it needed a helping hand from linesman Mike Mullarkey to rule that Kemy Aguestien’s outstretched leg was the reason Suarez went tumbling in front of the Kop.

Steven Gerrard stuck his penalty right in the bottom corner.

Just as well, too, given how close Michel Vorm got to it. After the break Suarez sent Coutinho away with a shrewd square ball, and with Monk continuing to back off, the Brazilian accepted the invitation to shoot.

Three minutes later and Jose Enrique blasted into the roof of the net.

Next up was Suarez himself with the most clinical of finishes after making mugs of Monk and Bartley once more.

And the romp was completed, again from the spot, when Wayne Routledge knocked Enrique’s ball behind with his arm. This time Sturridge stuck it in the corner.

So Liverpool have finally now managed to beat a team in the top half of the table.

And given the nature of the Swans line-up the Reds’ complaints about having to cram this game between their two Euro ties because of the Capital One final do seem a little ironic now.

But Rodgers has already seen too many false dawns to start getting carried away.

Life with Liverpool tends to get you like that after a while…