Daniel Sturridge scored a quickfire double as Liverpool claimed Merseyside bragging rights with a 4-0 thrashing of Everton at Anfield.
In a thoroughly one-sided local derby, home captain Steven Gerrard set the ball rolling when he headed his sixth goal of the season before in-form Sturridge struck twice in as many first-half minutes to take his tally to six goals in his last five games and 16 for the season.
Everton also lost Romelu Lukaku to injury in the first half, and they endured more misery after the break when Luis Suarez got in on the act with his 23rd goal of the campaign.
However, it was Sturridge who stole the show - with the England forward spurning a golden opportunity for his hat-trick in the second half as he blazed a penalty into the Kop.
Everton had no answer to their city rivals and never looked like securing their first win at Anfield since 1999 as Liverpool moved four points ahead of them to enhance their chances of securing at top-four finish in the Premier League.
The return of Everton trio Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar and Antolin Alcaraz softened the blow of losing Bryan Oviedo (double leg fracture) for the visitors, while Phil Jagielka was also passed fit after picking up a knock at Stevenage on Saturday.
Jon Flanagan was preferred to Martin Kelly in the Liverpool starting line-up, with Simon Mignolet and Raheem Sterling also returning.
Barkley looked like he had never been away when he rounded off a swift break with a venomous left-footed strike from outside the penalty area that flashed just over the crossbar early on.
Liverpool soon got the upper hand, though, as Tim Howard denied Suarez and Jordan Henderson before Sterling raced onto Sturridge's incisive throughball but failed to beat the United States goalkeeper 17 minutes in.
It came as no surprise when Gerrard rose highest to head in Suarez's corner four minutes later to give Liverpool a deserved lead, and to make matters worse for the visitors, Lukaku suffered an injury which ended his participation in the game.
Everton were then stunned by two goals in as many minutes from Sturridge, as first the England striker raced onto Philippe Coutinho's fine pass and finished clinically with his left foot in the 34th minute.
Roberto Martinez's side were caught out again almost instantly by Kolo Toure's ball over the top and Sturridge made them pay by beating Howard with a sublime lob.
Leon Osman replaced Pienaar at the break and took just three minutes to make an impact as he forced Mignolet into a reflex save.
Liverpool looked dangerous every time they came forward and Suarez put them out of sight after 50 minutes when he raced clear and calmly placed the ball beyond Howard.
Sturridge had a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick three minutes later, but he put a penalty into the Kop after Howard had upended Sterling in the area.
Everton showed some spirit and Barkley forced a save out of Mignolet late on, before Sturridge wasted another great chance when he tried to be too clever after Coutinho had played him through on goal.
|Ferrero defends Samp boss Zenga|
|Pochettino expects Spurs improvement|
|Bale ideal for United - Robson|
|Ferdinand: Di Maria will regret United failure|
|Benitez pleased with goalkeepers as De Gea transfer saga continues|
|Guardiola tips fit Schweinsteiger to shine|
|Confident Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at Keane|
|Ferdinand: Stones would be ´a lunatic´ to join Chelsea|
|Qarabag v Celtic: Gordon wants positivity from Scottish champions|
|Higuain rejects extension from Napoli|
|Zamora returns to Brighton|
|West Ham can cope without Valencia - Gold|
|Wickham loses on Palace debut|
|Guardiola: No problem with Matthaus and Effenberg comments|
|Cartabia excited by Deportivo loan|
|Lyon confirm Rafael deal|
|Hysaj agrees deal to follow Sarri to Napoli|
|Rafael says his goodbyes to Manchester United|
|Dos Santos ready to get going with Galaxy|
|Pochettino rejects Soldado exit talk|
|Metatarsal misery for Mulumbu|
|Benitez: Benzema and Bale going nowhere|
|Mihajlovic: Ibrahimovic would make Milan title contenders|
|Hughes not taking any risks with Bojan|
|Guardiola relishing Audi Cup test|
|Di Maria ´taking a step up´ - Silva|
|Leicester bring in defender Benalouane|
|Deulofeu doubtful for Premier League opener|
|West Ham striker Valencia out for three months|
|UEFA: Qarabag-Celtic to go ahead|
|Palace seal Wickham swoop|
|Ronaldo and Benzema to miss Audi Cup|
|Marotta: Juventus could lose Pogba|
|Kante completes Leicester switch|
|Khedira ruled out for two months|
|FA accepts Mourinho criticism of Wembley surface|
|Robben rubbishes injury talk|
|Marchisio expects Milan title challenge|
|Rafael set for Lyon move|
|Celtic ´seeking reassurances´ over Qarabag pitch|
|Wenger beating Mourinho does not affect Chelsea - Zouma|
|Rooney moved by Everton welcome|
|Mancini not worried by lack of Inter goals|
|Coloccini wants to finish career at Newcastle - McClaren|
|Ramsey: Pressure to win trophies is nothing new|
|Terry: Wembley defeat could be a ´blessing in disguise´|
|Blatter not running for IOC re-election|
|Bendtner: Wolfsburg can challenge Bayern for Bundesliga honours|
|Liverpool relishing Britannia return, says Henderson|
|Everton big enough to keep Stones - Martinez|
|MLS Review: Fire stun Dallas as goals dry up|
|New Atletico signings excite Raul Garcia|
|Cahill expects Arsenal title challenge|
|Jovetic happy with Inter debut|
|Luis Enrique: Barca defence must improve|
|Yanev calls for calm after ugly scenes in friendly|
|Coppa Italia Review: Cittadella romp to victory, Brescia rely on penalties|
|Arsenal have learned how to play against big teams - Ramsey|
|Shawcross to visit specialist over back woe|
|Fiorentina 2 Barcelona 1: Bernardeschi double sends Barca to another defeat|
|Mancini hints at Melo interest|
|Rodgers hails ´incredible´ Benteke strike|
|Galatasary 1 Inter 0: Sneijder sinks former club|
|Wenger defends Arsenal approach|
|Wembley loss has no bearing on new season - Terry|
|Porto cruise to friendly win over Stoke|
|Mourinho denies Wenger ´snub´ suggestions|
|Arsenal abandoned their philosophy to win Community Shield - Mourinho|
|Mourinho throws Community Shield medal into Wembley crowd|
|Swindon Town 1 Liverpool 2: Benteke nets stunner on debut|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Hearts win thriller on top-flight return|
|Ujah at the double as Bremen beat West Ham|
|Mourinho: We were the better team|
|Wenger hails defensive solidity|
|Rooney returns as Villarreal spoil Ferguson´s party|
|Rodriguez stunner earns Southampton draw as Caulker makes debut|
|Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Case of 14th time lucky for Wenger against Mourinho|
|Taechaubol announces Milan agreement|
|Jojic fires Cologne to latest victory|
|China 0 South Korea 2: Kim and Lee seal victory|
|Origi getting up to speed|
|Costa a doubt for start of season - Mourinho|
|North Korea 2 Japan 1: Halilhodzic´s men spurn lead|
|Allam brands FA ´amateurs´ as name-change row rumbles on|
|Fournier ´worried´ by Lyon pre-season|
|Swansea still working on Michu exit - Monk|
|Neuer furious at Bayern Supercup defeat|
|Wenger: Ozil signing not a mistake|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Shakhtar ready for Fenerbahce decider|
|Lampard targets MLS play-offs for City|
|MLS Review: Goals galore as DC United win 10-goal thriller|
|Ronaldinho returns and helps Fluminense to win|
|Keane: United won´t overtake Chelsea|
|Casillas has the ´enthusiasm of a 20-year-old´ - Lopetegui|
|Blanc hopeful over Ibrahimovic knee injury|
|Guardiola laments late goal in Supercup defeat|
|Tuchel plans to keep Bender|
|Hecking happy with Wolfsburg discipline after Supercup win|
|Arsenal players too interested in selfies and six-packs - Keane|
|Confusion over Ibrahimovic´s PSG future|