Match ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 0.
Jurgen Klopp said he "loves the goals" Mohamed Salah is scoring after his Liverpool side consolidated their place in the Premier League top four with a comfortable victory over Newcastle.
With five minutes left of a wasteful first half for the Reds, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drove through the away side's lines and played in Salah for his 24th goal of the league season.
With no real outlet in attack, the Magpies were under constant pressure at Anfield and they buckled again when Sadio Mane swept the home side further ahead from Roberto Firmino's pass - the 200th top-flight goal under their German manager.
Salah might have added a late third, too. As he broke clear in injury time, it looked like he was shoved in the back by Jamaal Lascelles. Klopp said it was a "special view" not to give a foul and "definitely a red card" as the forward went down with just the keeper to beat.
"I love the goals he's scored, I love his assists. I love this player," he added of Salah.
"He's doing so well, but all the others have exactly the same importance and he knows that."
Saturday's win moves Liverpool above Manchester United into second place - at least until their rivals play at Crystal Palace on Monday.
The gap to leaders Manchester City is 15 points, with Pep Guardiola's side in action at home to Chelsea on Sunday.
Newcastle, whose best chance saw Mohamed Diame denied by Loris Karius' fine save just before half-time, drop to 16th after Swansea's 4-1 home win over West Ham.
Rafael Benitez's side are two points above the relegation zone with nine matches to play.
Salah just keeps scoring
This was Egypt forward Salah's 32nd goal in 38 games in all competitions for Liverpool this season, and the 26th competitive match in which he's scored.
By comparison, the entire Newcastle squad has managed 31 goals in total this term.
His finish - left-footed, of course, and through the legs of on-loan keeper Martin Dubravka - had a slight element of fortune in that it ricocheted in off Dubravka's calf, but there was no doubt it came with the run of play.
Newcastle had been camped in banks of five but after Oxlade-Chamberlain, again impressive, pounced on a turnover in possession and opened up space with a determined run and Salah drifted into the perfect spot to put his side ahead. From there they never looked back.
In the context of Champions League qualification, Liverpool are now seven points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand, but first comes Tuesday's last-16 second-leg with FC Porto in this year's competition. They lead 5-0 lead from the first leg.
Bigger days to come for Newcastle
In recent matches at Manchester City and Bournemouth, Newcastle started games as they did here - stubborn and hard to break down.
But just as in their 3-1 defeat at City, and their 2-2 draw at the Cherries (after leading 2-0), resilience washed away.
The strategy appeared to be to keep Liverpool at bay for as long as possible and take any chances when they came.
Maybe if Diame's curling shot - destined for the top corner - had not been brilliantly matched by Karius' glove, the second half would have told a different story.
Regardless, this defeat at Anfield will not define how Newcastle's season ends. There are more important games to come.
Three of their nine remaining league matches are against other teams threatened by relegation - and games at home to Southampton and Huddersfield are two of their next three.
Analysis: Eye-catching Henderson
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Danny Murphy on Match of the Day
Jordan Henderson caught my eye because he showed off his passing range. Sometimes he has been criticised for not being positive with his passing but we saw the full range of his passing against Newcastle.
When it comes to England, you think Eric Dier an Jack Wilshere but in terms of defensive capabilities, Henderson is the best.
Man of the match - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool)
Unbeaten in 22 - the stats
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 22 successive home league games against Newcastle United. They last lost to them at Anfield in April 1994.
- The Reds have scored in 22 consecutive home matches against Newcastle - a Premier League record run.
- Salah has scored in each of his past seven games for Liverpool in all competitions - the last player to do so in more was Daniel Sturridge in February 2014, with eight.
- It took 97 games for Liverpool to reach 200 Premier League goals under Klopp - the only managers to have reached 200 goals quicker with their clubs were Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City (84 games) and Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool (96 games).
What the managers said
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to BBC Sport: "I very often forget the result during the game so even though we were 2-0 up I did feel we had to control the game better.
"But then when you step out on the pitch, you realise the wind, so it was difficult to do the right thing in the right moment. We scored two wonderful goals and for sure should have had a penalty but didn't.
"They defended really well and are a good team with quality. We lost a few balls we don't usually lose and Roberto Firmino didn't have much support. It caused a few problems but not too many."
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, also speaking to BBC Sport: "We were playing against a dangerous team. We know they have the pace up front. We managed to 40 minutes then it was a mistake.
"We had to go for it in the second half and were then more open. You have to keep the balance to be stronger in the defence and create chances in attack.
"We are learning but we are still making mistakes against teams. We are improving but this team has to get points.
"I am pleased with the fans. The Liverpool fans were really good for me."
Liverpool play FC Porto at home in the Champions League last-16 second leg on Tuesday. They next play in the league at Manchester United on Saturday (12:30 GMT kick-off).
Newcastle's next match is at home to Southampton in the league on Saturday (15:00).
- 4van Dijk
- 21Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forMilnerat 79'minutes
- 9FirminoSubstituted forMatipat 88'minutes
- 19ManéSubstituted forLallanaat 74'minutes
- 23MerinoSubstituted forHaydenat 73'minutes
- 7MurphySubstituted forPérezat 84'minutes
- 9GayleSubstituted forJoseluat 66'minutes
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 0.
Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).
Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mohamed Diamé.
Substitution, Liverpool. Joel Matip replaces Roberto Firmino.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Newcastle United. Ayoze Pérez replaces Jacob Murphy.
Attempt blocked. Joselu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamaal Lascelles with a headed pass.
Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).
Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Isaac Hayden.
Attempt blocked. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Emre Can (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kenedy (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Attempt missed. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Atsu with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.