Mohamed Salah scored for the sixth successive game as Liverpool moved above Manchester United into second place in the Premier League with an entertaining win over West Ham.
Emre Can headed Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead from a corner – the Reds’ 100th goal this season – after Salah had earlier been denied by a post.
Salah made it 2-0 to the hosts with an instinctive, low finish after a delicious pass by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, before Roberto Firmino added the third after a mistake by goalkeeper Adrian.
Michail Antonio’s quality, low finish gave West Ham hope – but Mane, who had hit the post moments before, completed a fine Liverpool win.
Will Liverpool finish best of the rest?
Despite an emphatic win, this may be a bittersweet weekend for Klopp, who is still chasing his first major trophy since taking charge of Liverpool in October 2015.
Ideally, the German would have spent it at Wembley contesting the Carabao Cup final, yet defeat at Leicester in September ensured his side’s interest in that competition ended prematurely.
At least the latest league table makes healthy reading for the Liverpool boss, whose side have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after the 5-0 thrashing of Porto.
On 22 October his side were battling to stay in the top half after a 4-1 defeat against Tottenham at Wembley left them ninth behind the likes of Burnley, Watford and Newcastle.
Four months on, and fresh from hammering the Hammers, Liverpool lead the best of the rest pack, one point ahead of third-placed United and 15 behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
With 10 matches remaining, Liverpool are on course for their highest league finish since 2013-14. Their 10 March trip to Old Trafford will go a long way to deciding whether they can seal second spot.
Liverpool’s clinical finishing again proved the difference, although not until Firmino made it 3-0 were the hosts able to relax.
When they did, they conceded but even Antonio’s goal could not take the shine off this win.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in 16 matches at home in the league. Klopp’s team are hitting excellent form at the right time of the season.