Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points by beating Newcastle – because Manchester City, who started the day as their nearest challengers, lost at Leicester City.
Goals by Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, Xherdan Shaqiri and substitute Fabinho, ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side will start 2019 at the top of the table.
Newcastle wasted a great chance to take the lead at 0-0 when Joselu failed to connect properly with Matt Ritchie’s excellent cross and were punished when Lovren dispatched a half-volley into the roof of the net.
Salah’s penalty doubled the lead after referee Graham Scott judged that Paul Dummett had fouled the Egypt forward, before Shaqiri tucked home the third from an assist by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool completed the scoring through Fabinho’s header and reach the halfway point of the season six points ahead of second-placed Tottenham, who were 5-0 winners against Bournemouth.