Report: Villa 0-6 Liverpool
There was precious little love in the air around Villa Park as Liverpool inflicted our heaviest Premier League home defeat on Valentine's Day.
Remi Garde's men were never in contention as the visitors led 2-0 at half-time through Daniel Sturridge and former Villa star James Milner and went on to score four more times in the space of 13 second-half minutes through Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure.
It was a totally miserable afternoon for home supporters, many of whom left before the end - although those who remained never stopped cheering a beleaguered Villa outfit.
The opening 15 minutes failed to produce a single attempt on goal as both sides adopted a cautious approach.
But although Villa had a slight edge in the early stages, they were helpless to prevent the opening goal.
Philippe Coutinho delivered a perfect cross from the left, and Sturridge steered the ball just inside the near post with a downward header which left Mark Bunn helpless.
The home side responded with a Jores Okore header from Jordan Veretout's free-kick but Simon Mignolet saved comfortably, and then Ashley Westwood fired wide from 25 yards.
But on 25 minutes the Merseysiders doubled their advantage when they were awarded a free-kick on the left.
Milner's inswinging effort eluded everyone, with Bunn distracted by Mamadou Sakho's aerial challenge, and the ball ended up in the far corner of the net.
There was very nearly a third when Jordan Henderson's close-range shot was deflected for a corner after Roberto Firmino's deep cross had been headed back across goal, and Firmino then had a shot saved by Bunn before Coutinho sent a 25-yard free-kick not far off target.
Villa were struggling to gain any momentum, although a fine 39th-minute move ended with Leandro Bacuna's low cross shot being held by Mignolet as the keeper fell at his near post.
Bunn came to the rescue a couple of minutes before the half-time, tipping away Sturridge's curling shot at full stretch after Joleon Lescott had headed away Milner's dangerous centre.
If Villa had barely threatened during the opening period, they approached the second half in more positive mood.
Bacuna's cross was held by Mignolet, who then kept out a fierce low shot from the Villa midfielder.
After Liverpool had responded with a couple of dangerous attacks, though, the home side were forced into a substitution in the 57th minute when Gabby Agbonlahor limped off to be replaced by Scott Sinclair, and from there it went rapidly downhill.
A minute later, Can drilled home from the edge of the penalty area following a Firmino pass, and sub Origi had been on the pitch for barely 30 seconds when he moved on to Coutinho's pass to fire home number four.
Three minutes later Clyne prodded home at virtually point-blank range after his initial shot had been blocked in a crowded goalmouth and on 71 minutes Toure headed home a corner from the right.
In a rare moment of Villa danger, Sinclair almost reduced the deficit in the 79th minute when he played a one-two with Lescott before his angled shot struck the outside of the angle.
VILLA: Bunn; Richards (Hutton 85), Okore, Lescott, Cissokho; Westwood, Gana; Bacuna (Lyden 65), Gil, Veretout (Sinclair 57); Agbonlahor. Unused subs: Guzan, Clark, Richardson, Davis.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Milner, Firminho (Benteke 74), Coutinho (Stewart 66); Sturridge (Origi 62). Unused subs: Ward, Caulker, Ibe, Flanagan.