Raheem Sterling scored twice and Luis Suarez broke the 30-goal barrier as Liverpool beat Norwich 3-2 at Carrow Road to move five points clear at the top of the table.
The Reds showed their intent to make the most of Chelsea’s shock home defeat by Sunderland on Saturday, and romped 2-0 ahead inside 10 minutes as the Canaries were ripped apart with a superb 25-yard effort from Sterling, before Suarez tucked home from close range.
However, Norwich - just two points above the dropzone - rallied after Gary Hooper reduced the deficit following a poor punch by Simon Mignolet only for Sterling to slot home a deflected third on the break.
Robert Snodgrass set up a tense finale with his far post header with 13 minutes left, but the Reds secured what looks to be a priceless victory in their bid to win a first championship in more than 20 years.
“We have cemented the first objective, which was cementing Champions League qualification,” said boss Brendan Rodgers.
“Now we will look forward to next weekend, which will be a great atmosphere at Anfield.”
The Liverpool manager praised the impact of England World Cup hopeful Sterling, who supported the attack well in the absence of injured forward Daniel Sturridge.
“He is arguably the best young player in European football at the moment, if he does not win the PFA Young Player of the Year this season, it is ridiculous,” Rodgers said.
Elsewhere, Everton struck a fatal blow to Manchester United’s Champions League hopes as David Moyes endured a hellish return to Goodison Park.
Leighton Baines scored from the spot after Phil Jones handled Romelu Lukaku’s shot and Alex Buttner played Kevin Mirallas onside just before half-time and he beat David de Gea from a tight angle to secure a comfortable win.
In the day’s other game, Arsenal won the FA Cup final dress rehearsal by beating Hull 3-0 at the KC Stadium with Aaron Ramsey and Lukas Podolski (2) on target.