Curtis Jones scored twice as in-form Liverpool brushed aside hapless Leicester to maintain their recent winning streak and push the Foxes closer to Premier League relegation.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won their past seven games to bolster their push for a top-four finish and now lie a point behind Newcastle and Manchester United, albeit having played a game more.
Another dismal loss for Leicester leaves the 2016 Premier League champions firmly rooted in danger in 19th position, two points adrift of safety with only two games remaining.
The Reds scored twice in the space of three first-half minutes through the same combination, Mohamed Salah twice feeding Jones who finished confidently to claim his first Premier League double.
It should have been 3-0 before half-time but home goalkeeper Daniel Iversen made a superb reaction save to deny Cody Gakpo from close range.
Salah claimed his third assist in the second period by laying off a free-kick for Trent Alexander-Arnold to curl a sublime finish into the top corner.
Liverpool maintain hunt for top-four finish
Has Liverpool’s charge for a Champions League spot come too late?
The two United’s above them need two wins from their last three games to guarantee a top-four finish but Liverpool are right on their tails and poised to profit from any mishaps.
The Reds started slowly at Leicester, Luis Diaz smashing into the side-netting and Fabinho blazing over the pick of their early openings.
But they clicked into gear on the half-hour mark as midfielder Jones took his tally to three goals in his last four games.
His first was a controlled finish at the far post from Salah’s deep cross and the second he thumped home following the Egyptian’s through ball.
Salah provided a hat-trick of assists by rolling the ball off for Alexander-Arnold’s stunning second-half strike, but the Egyptian must wait for his 20th goal of the campaign after a remarkable miss late on, putting wide when through on goal.
Liverpool face European-chasing Aston Villa at home on Saturday and round off their season against relegated Southampton knowing maximum points in those games may complete a stunning turnaround in an otherwise disappointing season.