PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: RvP scores on Arsenal return, Suarez-less Liverpool hits Newcastle for six, Reading and QPR relegated
The Reds were without their leading scorer, who copped a 10-match ban for biting, but managed to hammer the Magpies to record their biggest away in the Premier League.
Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge both scored doubles for Liverpool whilst Daniel Agger and Fabio Borini also hit the back of the net as Brendan Rodgers' men crushed the hapless Toon to remain seventh on the table with Alan Pardew's side dropping to 16th.
Newly-crowned champions Manchester United drew 1-1 with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium after Robin van Persie, on his return to North London, equalised from the penalty spot following Theo Walcott's early opener which kept the Gunners in fourth but forcing them to fall behind third-placed Chelsea.
The Blues scored twice in five minutes at the end of the first half to beat Swansea City 2-0 with Frank Lampard scoring his 201st goal (one short of Bobby Tambling's record) for the club who are now in with a strong chance of producing a top-four finish.
Manchester City got the job done with a 2-1 win over West Ham United which included a stunning left-footed thunderbolt from Yaya Toure, Everton beat Fulham 1-0 and West Bromwich Albion, reduced to ten men, got the better of nine-man Southampton to win 3-0 at St Mary's.
Monday night sees Aston Villa, placed 17th, host Sunderland for the chance to move five points clear of the drop zone whilst the Black Cats will be looking to secure their survival as a win would improve their current sit of 15th to 11th.
2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores
Southampton: 0 (red cards: Gaston Ramirez 70', Daniel Fox 82') West Bromwich Albion: 3 (Marc-Antoine Fortune 6', Romelu Lukaku 67', Shane Long 77', red card: Fortune 70') St Mary's Stadium, Southampton - 31,946