Liverpool piled the pressure on both Everton and Kevin Keegan as they powered to a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds moved three points clear of their local rivals in the race for fourth place after goals from Jermaine Pennant (43), Fernando Torres (45) and Steven Gerrard (51) sent the Magpies tumbling to a ninth Premier League defeat in their last 12 games.
The Toon are now only three points ahead of third-from-bottom Bolton, who have a game in hand, and were unlucky again as the Reds' opener came when Jose Enrique's clearance looped off Pennant and over Steve Harper.
It was 2-0 when Gerrard set up Torres for his 25th goal of the season, a classy finish with a low right-footed shot.
And after Torres slipped in Gerrard for a dinked effort, Obafemi Martins smacked the crossbar with a 40-yard volley.