Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both struck twice as Liverpool cut the gap on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League to three points with a 6-0 thrashing of Leeds at Anfield.
Salah took his tally for the season to 27 in 31 appearances and set up a rare goal for Joel Matip as the Reds registered a ninth consecutive win in all competitions.
Mane rubbed salt in Leeds wounds with two goals in the final 10 minutes before Virgil van Dijk’s header rounded off the scoring.
Attention now turns to Sunday’s League Cup final against Chelsea for Jurgen Klopp’s men and they remain very much in the hunt for a second Premier League title in three years with a clash against City still to come in April.
“I think for people outside it is better to have three or six-point gap than to have a 20 or 30-point gap so it is more exciting,” said Klopp.
“But we have to win a lot of the games against all the difficult opponents and that will be a tricky task. We will give it a try.”
At the other end of the table, Leeds are looking over their shoulders as Burnley’s 1-0 win over Tottenham cut their cushion over the relegation zone down to three points.
“We are fighting relegation,” said Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa. “Of course it worries me, how is it not going to?”
Leeds have now conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season with 56.
Bielsa’s men were similarly humiliated 7-0 at City in December and have shipped 16 goals in their last four games alone.
“The games against City and today are two games where our weaknesses have shown against the superiority of these teams,” added Bielsa.
“The conclusions from today are totally negative.”
There was little doubt over the outcome from the moment Stuart Dallas handled Andy Robertson’s cross inside in the box and Salah sent Illan Meslier the wrong way from the spot.
The visitors did have the ball in the net shortly afterwards only for Raphinha to be flagged offside when he forced in Jack Harrison’s low cross to the back post.
Chances continued to flow at the other end with Luis Diaz quickly making himself a favourite among the Anfield crowd as he terrorised a makeshift Leeds back four.
Conte to ‘assess’ Spurs future after shock defeat
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte will assess his future at the troubled club after admitting he does not deserve his salary following Wednesday’s damaging 1-0 defeat against Burnley.
Conte’s side saw their hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League severely damaged by Ben Mee’s second-half winner at Turf Moor.
Just days after their memorable 3-2 win at champions Manchester City, Tottenham returned to the kind of lacklustre display that has marred their dismal season.
It was a fourth league defeat in five games for eighth-placed Tottenham, who are seven points adrift of the top four in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
Conte cut a forlorn figure after the latest loss in a difficult start to his first season with the north Londoners.
The Italian, who replaced the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo in November, appeared to hint he could walk away from Tottenham if there is not an improvement in their results soon.
Suggesting he wanted to talk to the Tottenham board about the team’s predicament, Conte said: “When you lose four out of five it means the club have to make an assessment, also to speak together, and to understand which is the best solution.
“In this situation the players are always the same in this club, the club change coaches, but the players are the same, but the result doesn’t change.
“This is the reality. No one deserves this type of situation, the club, me, the players, the fans, but this is the reality.
“I came here to try to improve the situation in Tottenham but maybe in this moment I’m not so good.
“I’m too honest to close my eyes. It means there will be an assessment about the club, about me.”
Conte was already unhappy with Tottenham’s decision to sell several players during the January transfer window, with only two replacements arriving.
The former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss, a title winner in England and Italy, conceded Tottenham’s current form was closer to a side battling relegation.
“I’m not used to this type of situation. The situation is not changing,” he said.
“The reality is in the last five games we are fighting for the relegation zone.
“This is the truth. I don’t want to close my eyes. I have to take responsibility and I’m open to every decision because I want to help Tottenham.
“It is not good for everybody to continue to lose and I can’t accept this. It’s not good for nobody.
“From the first day I arrived I want to help. I repeat, I’m too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way, and also take my salary, it’s not right in this moment.”