Mohamed Salah scored his 22nd goal of the season as Liverpool closed the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City with a comfortable win over Newcastle.
Without Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho because of suspected positive coronavirus tests, Jurgen Klopp’s team went behind early on to their struggling opponents when Jonjo Shelvey scored against his former club following a quick break.
Two goals in the space of four minutes, however, put Liverpool in charge.
Diogo Jota’s equaliser had an element of controversy about it, as it came when Isaac Hayden was down in the six-yard box with a head injury, but the Portuguese took advantage by tucking in on the rebound following Martin Dubravka’s initial save.
Shelvey then undid his positive start by gifting a backpass to Sadio Mane, who drew another save from Dubravka before Salah lashed home.
Shortly before Salah’s goal, which meant he equalled Jamie Vardy’s record of scoring or assisting in 15 successive Premier League games, Allan Saint-Maximin wasted a chance as he was denied by Alisson.
Eddie Howe’s team improved after the break as the hosts eased off, and went close via Jacob Murphy and Shelvey, but Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late strike from 25 yards ended the game as a contest, and Liverpool now sit a point behind City.
Newcastle remain 19th in the table, three points from safety, and their task to avoid relegation does not get any easier when they host Pep Guardiola’s league leaders on Sunday.