Mohamed Salah continued his remarkable scoring run as Liverpool beat Newcastle to go second in the Premier League, two points above Manchester United, who they visit next Saturday.
United, however, have the chance to restore the status quo by winning at Crystal Palace on Monday.
When Egyptian international Salah gave Liverpool the lead after 40 minutes it was his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions for Liverpool and the seventh game in succession that he had found the net.
He was set up by midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and scored off the goalkeeper's legs.
The red-hot winger took his Premier League tally to 24 goals, on level with top scorer Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.
Newcastle threatened only once, when Mohamed Diame forced Loris Karius to make a fine save just before halftime.
Sadio Mane finished off a fine move involving Emre Can and Roberto Firmino early in the second half for the second goal of a one-sided game.
"The boys were brilliant and they did what they needed to do," said manager Juergen Klopp, under whom Liverpool have now scored 200 goals in only 97 league games.
"There were two wonderful goals, a few more were possible, and it was a world-class save from Loris Karius. He didn't have much more to do than that. I'm happy."
Newcastle's Rafa Benitez, manager when Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to win the Champions League final in 2005, received a generous reception from the Anfield crowd, but had less to enthuse about.
"We were playing against a dangerous team," he said.
"We know they have the pace up front. We managed to last 40 minutes then it was a mistake.
"We had to go for it in the second half and were then more open. You have to keep the balance to be stronger in the defence and create chances in attack.
"We are learning but we are still making mistakes against teams. We are improving but this team has to get points."
Defeat left Newcastle 16th, only two points above the relegation places.