Liverpool barely missed the banned Luis Suarez during an emphatic win against relegation-threatened Newcastle.
Daniel Agger's looping header and Jordan Henderson's cool finish in the first half set Liverpool on the way to their biggest victory of the season.
Daniel Sturridge scored twice from close range before Fabio Borini poked in his first league goal for the Reds.
Mathieu Debuchy saw red for clattering through Philippe Coutinho and Henderson curled in the subsequent free-kick.
Newcastle's loss to Liverpool is the first time the Magpies had lost a top-flight home game by a margin of six or more goals since September 1925 when Blackburn were 7-1 winners.
The spotlight had been on Suarez throughout the week, with even Prime Minister David Cameron intervening, saying the striker set
"the most appalling example"
to children when he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last Sunday.
It seems improbable that Liverpool's leading goalscorer, with 30 goals this season and a place on the shortlist for the PFA's Player of the Year award, will not be missed during the next nine games.
But against such obliging opponents as Newcastle, the Uruguay striker's terrier-like qualities were not needed as Coutinho and Sturridge added imagination and spark to Liverpool's attack.
Their manager Brendan Rodgers was dressed all in black for this match, but it is Alan Pardew who will be in mourning as his team suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat at St James' Park.
Pardew had described beating Liverpool as "crucial" - victory against Rodgers' men would have taken Newcastle, who were Champions League contenders last season, to 40 points and, in many people's eyes, safety.
Rodgers hails 'outstanding' Reds
Instead, the Magpies, five points above the bottom three, now have three games - against West Ham, Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal - to secure their Premier League status.
Newcastle's defending will have to improve in the next few weeks as the visitors dominated from the moment Coutinho's beautiful pass set Glen Johnson sprinting down the right inside the opening minute.
Chances fell Sturridge's way before Agger, all alone on the edge of the six-yard box, directed Stewart Downing's lofty cross into the net.
Liverpool quickly doubled their advantage with Coutinho the architect. The Brazilian's precise pass cut through the home defence and Sturridge unselfishly rolled the ball towards Henderson, who side-footed into the far corner.
Only a James Perch header troubled Rodgers's men and a chorus of boos greeted Newcastle's players as they trudged off the pitch at half-time.
Pardew introduced Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran for the start of the second half but the substitutes had little time to make an impact.
Newcastle were unable to cope with Coutinho's directness and it was a magical run and pass from the 20-year-old which allowed Sturridge to score Liverpool's third.
The sight of Steven Gerrard and Henderson combining to beat the offside trap and set up Sturridge for his second, a simple tap in, was enough to make some Newcastle fans leave the stadium with fully half an hour remaining.
We are in relegation battle - Pardew
It soon got even worse for those Magpies supporters who chose to remain. Borini replaced Gerrard and within 60 seconds the Italian was on the scoresheet.
Downing wriggled beyond Papiss Cisse and found Borini lurking in the box. The striker quickly adjusted his feet before finishing low beyond the diving Rob Elliot.
Newcastle were then forced to play the remaining 15 minutes with 10 men as Debuchy received his second yellow card of the match for a two-footed challenge on the impressive Coutinho.
Henderson stepped up, capitalising on poor defending by curling a free-kick into Elliot's far post, to complete the scoring and maintain Liverpool's hopes of finishing inside the top six.
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Suso takes a shot. Rob Elliot makes a save.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jonjo Shelvey restarts play with the free kick.
Yoan Gouffran fouled by Suso, the ref awards a free kick. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa takes the direct free kick.
Substitution Suso on for Phillippe Coutinho.
Substitution Daniel Sturridge leaves the field to be replaced by Jonjo Shelvey.
Papiss Cisse has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
Phillippe Coutinho produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Save by Rob Elliot.
Assist on the goal came from Phillippe Coutinho.
75:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Jordan Henderson - Newcastle 0 - 6 Liverpool Jordan Henderson finds the net with a goal direct from the free kick from long range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-6 Liverpool.
Dismissal The referee shows Mathieu Debuchy a red card for second bookable offence.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho by Mathieu Debuchy.
Mathieu Debuchy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabio Borini. Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.
Assist on the goal came from Stewart Downing.
73:02 Goal scored
Goal! - Fabio Borini - Newcastle 0 - 5 Liverpool Fabio Borini finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-5 Liverpool.
Substitution Fabio Borini is brought on as a substitute for Steven Gerrard.
Yohan Cabaye decides to take the corner short.
The offside flag is raised against Daniel Sturridge. Steven Taylor takes the indirect free kick.
Corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing from the right by-line, save made by Rob Elliot.
Inswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the right by-line played to the near post, Massadio Haidara makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Yohan Cabaye from the left by-line, Sanchez Jose Enrique manages to make a clearance.
Substitution Vurnon Anita replaces Cheick Tiote.
The ball is swung over by Yohan Cabaye.
Jordan Henderson provided the assist for the goal.
59:51 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Sturridge - Newcastle 0 - 4 Liverpool Daniel Sturridge finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the area low into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 0-4 Liverpool.
Foul by Cheick Tiote on Daniel Sturridge, free kick awarded. Sanchez Jose Enrique restarts play with the free kick.
Yohan Cabaye produces a cross.
Hatem Ben Arfa has an effort at goal. Blocked by Jordan Henderson.
Corner taken right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, save by Jose Reina.
Phillippe Coutinho provided the assist for the goal.
53:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Sturridge - Newcastle 0 - 3 Liverpool Goal scored by Daniel Sturridge from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 0-3 Liverpool.
Leiva Lucas fouled by Moussa Sissoko, the ref awards a free kick. Leiva Lucas restarts play with the free kick.
Yohan Cabaye delivers the ball, Yoan Gouffran takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
Steven Gerrard challenges Cheick Tiote unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Mathieu Debuchy, save made by Jose Reina.
The referee gets the second half started.
Substitution Hatem Ben Arfa is brought on as a substitute for James Perch.
Substitution Jonas Gutierrez goes off and Yoan Gouffran comes on.
45:00 +2:13 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.
Glen Johnson challenges Jonas Gutierrez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, save by Jose Reina.
Free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
Booking The referee shows Steven Taylor a yellow card.
Steven Taylor challenges Daniel Sturridge unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard. The assistant referee signals for offside against Jordan Henderson. Rob Elliot restarts play with the free kick.
Booking Glen Johnson booked.
Foul by Yohan Cabaye on Jordan Henderson, free kick awarded.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Yohan Cabaye, save by Jose Reina.
Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.
Booking Booking for Jonas Gutierrez for unsporting behaviour.
Foul by Jonas Gutierrez on Daniel Sturridge, free kick awarded.
The ball is crossed by Massadio Haidara, James Perch has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Papiss Cisse. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
The official flags Daniel Sturridge offside. Rob Elliot restarts play with the free kick.
Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Steven Taylor. Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line, clearance by Papiss Cisse.
Steven Gerrard has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.
Daniel Agger concedes a free kick for a foul on Papiss Cisse. Free kick taken by Rob Elliot. The assistant referee flags for offside against Papiss Cisse. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
Effort from just outside the area by Jonas Gutierrez goes over the bar.
Daniel Sturridge takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Rob Elliot makes a save.
Unfair challenge on Daniel Sturridge by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa results in a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.
Free kick taken by Rob Elliot.
Booking The referee shows Daniel Sturridge a yellow card.
Booking Mathieu Debuchy receives a caution.
The official flags Daniel Sturridge offside.
Outswinging corner taken by Yohan Cabaye.
The assist for the goal came from Daniel Sturridge.
16:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Jordan Henderson - Newcastle 0 - 2 Liverpool Jordan Henderson finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 0-2 Liverpool.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mathieu Debuchy on Sanchez Jose Enrique. Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho by Cheick Tiote results in a free kick. Leiva Lucas takes the direct free kick.
Massadio Haidara gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stewart Downing. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Daniel Sturridge. Rob Elliot takes the free kick.
Daniel Agger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mathieu Debuchy. Rob Elliot takes the free kick.
Foul by Cheick Tiote on Daniel Sturridge, free kick awarded. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Papiss Cisse on Glen Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Moussa Sissoko by Leiva Lucas. Rob Elliot takes the free kick.
Assist on the goal came from Stewart Downing.
2:46 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Agger - Newcastle 0 - 1 Liverpool Daniel Agger scores a headed goal from inside the area. Newcastle 0-1 Liverpool.
Outswinging corner taken by Stewart Downing from the left by-line. Steven Gerrard takes the chance to get an effort at goal. James Perch gets a block in.
Outswinging corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Steven Gerrard. Free kick taken by Rob Elliot.
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