When Liverpool last beat Bolton eight months and an eternity ago, the photographs were of the manger embracing first his assistant and then the goalscorer with a league table that showed the club had clambered a little further from the relegation zone. Roy Hodgson lasted another seven days, Sammy Lee is gone, Joe Cole is in the departure lounge and Liverpool, however briefly it may be, are top of the Premier League. That, in short, is the Dalglish Effect.
No Bolton manager has won a league game at Anfield since 1954 and Owen Coyle, who has now lost three times at this ground as manager of the club, argued that it was also the effect of spending £110m that was not made available to Hodgson.
The match was a triumph for the men Kenny Dalglish had brought to Merseyside. Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam scored, Stewart Downing ought to have done, while for José Enrique this must seem a world away from the Russian roulette of being part of Newcastle's defence. Luis Suárez, meanwhile, was at times irresistible.
Anfield is a place that consumes statistics like pub-goers gobble peanuts and the latest revealed that this was Liverpool's best start to a season since 1994. Since they have seven points from their three opening fixtures, that suggests Liverpool do not make a habit of sprinting out of the blocks. It was, however, a season Dalglish will remember since it finished at Anfield with him steering Blackburn to the title. Liverpool finished fourth.
As the stadium relaxed and Paul Robinson stretched his body and ability to the limit to keep Suárez and Liverpool at bay, you could almost hear Dalglish mouthing a mantra that has been part of the club's phrase book for several generations: "We will tot up the points at the end of the season and see where we are."
Once in the press room, the Liverpool manager succeeded in dampening down any flickering expectations: "Headlines are about individuals but we are about being a team," he said. "We passed and moved and thoroughly deserved our victory. Everyone who came would have been entertained."
The scoreline aside, the most interesting aspect of the evening was that Andy Carroll began this match on the bench. Fernando Torres's desperate groping for the kind of form that once lit up Liverpool has obscured the struggles of the Premier League's most expensive Englishman.
You can talk all you like about the squad system but Carroll is a centre-forward and a disciple of Alan Shearer, who considered any suggestion that he did not start an affront to his manhood. Joe Fagan once had the courage to drop Dalglish for a game against Tottenham in 1984 and the Scot would have expected Carroll to take it in the same way – without comment.
What followed was a vindication of Dalglish's judgement. The surprise was it produced only a single goal before the interval. It began with a wonderful cross, delivered with the outside of Suárez's boot, that was met first time by Downing and pushed away high to his left by Jussi Jaaskelainen. It was a save that ought to have won or at least saved a match. Instead, it prevented Liverpool taking the lead by a matter of seconds. Dirk Kuyt retrieved the ricochet, played it back to Henderson, who had his first shot blocked and thrashed the ball home exquisitely at the second attempt.
Then came the siege: a chip from Suárez that landed on the roof of Jaaskelainen's net, followed by a shot from Kuyt that careered the wrong side of the post and a perfect decision from Lee Probert that Gretar Steinsson had handled fractionally outside the area.
If the state of Gary Cahill's performance reflected his mental state after the speculation swirling around regarding his future, then his mind was mush. "It is natural for a young player's head to be turned by endless speculation," said his manager. Coyle argued that if Arsenal are serious about taking the defender, they should make a proper offer and do it in writing.
Cahill's was not the only troubled mind in Bolton's ranks. Fabrice Muamba, the midfielder charged with shielding the back four, had been up all night tending to his sick child. The game was 26 minutes old before he realised he could not continue.
Bolton managed to shore themselves up before collapsing again after the restart as Martin Skrtel muscled past the supposedly imposing figure of Zat Knight to head home Adam's corner.
Less than a minute later, Adam himself almost walked through what was theoretically the heart of Bolton's defence to ensure their 10th successive defeat in this fixture. There have been few as completely one sided and when Ivan Klasnic slid in the most academic of consolations, it was greeted by a shrug of the shoulders.