Virgil van Dijk immediately began repaying his £75million transfer fee as he scored Liverpool’s winner in a 2-1 FA Cup third-round triumph over Merseyside rivals Everton.
The former Southampton star, who this month became the world’s most expensive defender, headed in the winner six minutes from time on a night not short on controversy at Anfield.
Having bemoaned the decision to award Everton a penalty in last month’s Premier League draw between the two, Jurgen Klopp saw his side get the benefit of some considerable doubt for another spot-kick call on Friday.
Mason Holgate was the man punished for a supposed foul on Adam Lallana just inside the area and James Milner stepped up to convert his first goal of the season.
Controversy stirred just before the break as Firmino and Holgate clashed after the Brazilian was pushed into the crowd by his opponent, with the two squaring up amid ugly scenes.
An out-of-sorts Rooney was replaced early in the second half by the young Ademola Lookman as Allardyce sought a route back into the contest, though his side could have fallen 2-0 behind soon after when Gomez badly miscued a straightforward back-post header.
Everton came close to capitalising on that let-off as Sigurdsson’s swinging free-kick caused problems for a nervy Loris Karius, with the Reds ultimately escaping unharmed.
The headlines looked to have been written when Van Dijk climbed to meet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s excellent cross, only to direct his header at Jordan Pickford.
And Liverpool fell victim to a sucker-punch when Sigurdsson brilliantly stroked home at the end of a rapid counter-attack led by Lookman.
Van Dijk, though, insisted on being the centre of attention and nodded in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s late corner to spark jubilant celebrations.