Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish praised Craig Bellamy following the Welsh forward's inspirational performance in his side's 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the Carling Cup quarter-final.
Bellamy returned to action little more than 48 hours after being withdrawn from the squad for Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester City on compassionate grounds.
The 32-year-old was mourning the loss of friend and compatriot Gary Speed and stood with his head bowed during the minute's applause held at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in remembrance of the Wales manager.
Bellamy set up the goals for Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly in the second half as Chelsea were swept aside.
"Craig is a fantastic footballer who had a hugely disappointing day on Sunday," said Dalglish. "He regarded Gary Speed as a mentor.
"It was great for the wee man, making the first goal. For the second he took the free-kick. He told Martin to leave it, it was going in!
"I don't know if we took Chelsea apart but we were delighted with the way we played. We've had a good day and we deserved to go through."
Dalglish took a swipe at competition organisers for the scheduling of matches that forced Liverpool to play two games in three days.
"The way we're progressing is more significant than reaching the semi-final of a cup that's been cheapened by the actions of the people who run it," he said.
"But that doesn't mean to say we wouldn't love to win it. We've got our reward and we'll look forward to the next game.
"Three teams in the quarter-finals have problems with fixtures. Do us a favour.
"I'm not clever but I think I could have avoided that. The solution is to get someone a brain."
Brazilian midfielder Lucas was stretchered off with a knee problem in the second period, but Dalglish refused to speculate on the severity of the injury.
"Lucas has damaged his knee, we don't know what the problem is. We'll get it looked at and take it from there," he said.
"Rather than speculate we'll wait until we get a medical update tomorrow. We'll let everyone know in due course."