Doubles from all three of Liverpool’s starting front three helped the Reds turn back the clock and produce their best performance of the season at a raucous Anfield, handing Manchester United a 7-0 loss that lifted Jurgen Klopp’s side’s hopes of a top-four finish.
It was Liverpool’s biggest victory ever over United, who suffered the joint-worst defeat in their history.
The first 40 minutes of the match had been open and even, but Liverpool broke the deadlock when Cody Gakpo took Andrew Robertson’s sublime vertical pass, cut inside and beat David De Gea with a curling shot.
United’s hopes of a second-half comeback were hit as Liverpool doubled the lead 89 seconds after the restart when Darwin Nunez nodded in Harvey Elliott’s cross.
It was 3-0 fewer than four minutes later when Mohamed Salah mesmerised Lisandro Martinez down the Liverpool right before laying the ball off to Gakpo, who dinked his shot over De Gea from a narrow angle.
Salah’s emphatic finish from a Liverpool counter-attack on 66 minutes made it 4-0.
Nunez headed his second goal and Liverpool’s fifth before Salah added a sixth. It was the Egyptian’s 129th Premier League goal, going ahead of Robbie Fowler as the club’s leading scorer in the competition.
Roberto Firmino, who had confirmed earlier in the week that he would leave the club in the summer, came off the bench to add the seventh.
Liverpool are up to fifth with 42 points, now only three behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with a match in hand and a much superior goal difference.
Man Utd remain third, but their 49 points are 14 behind leaders Arsenal, who have played a match fewer.
Forest fightback thwarts Everton
At the other end of the table, a Brennan Johnson brace inspired Nottingham Forest to twice fight back and deny Everton only a second away win of the season in an enthralling 2-2 draw.
Everton took the lead at the City Ground on 10 minutes through Demarai Gray’s penalty after Dwight McNeil had been fouled by Jonjo Shelvey.
Forest were level nine minutes later when Johnson scored his fourth goal in as many matches, following up after Jordan Pickford had parried Morgan Gibbs-White’s low shot.
Abdoulaye Doucoure restored Everton’s lead with a smart header from Michael Keane’s flick for his first goal of 2022/23 and make it the first time his side had scored two first-half goals since May.
Johnson struck again with 13 minutes remaining after a neat team move to extend Forest’s unbeaten home run to nine matches.
They are 14th on 26 points, four more than Everton, who remain 18th, having seen their hopes of climbing out of the bottom extinguished.