Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed Wigan and boosted their hopes of European qualification.
Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho was integral to the first two goals, crossing for Stewart Downing to head in from close range before playing in Suarez, who slotted past keeper Ali Al Habsi.
The Uruguay forward made it 3-0 before the break with a deflected free-kick before he poked in his third.
Emmerson Boyce and Franco Di Santo were denied by great saves from Pepe Reina.
Liverpool’s Spanish keeper, renowned as a superb shot-stopper, excelled himself with a glorious clawed save to prevent Boyce’s spectacular effort from finding the top corner before tipping over Di Santo’s point-blank header.
Had either of those first-half efforts gone in, the Latics might have had hopes of fighting their way back into the match, but this was Liverpool’s day as manager Brendan Rodgers saw his side follow up their 5-0 win over Swansea with an equally dominant victory at the DW Stadium.
The result leaves the Reds only five points behind fifth-placed Arsenal. The Gunners play their game in hand at Spurs on Sunday
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