Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool ran riot against Manchester United to lead 4-0 by half-time at Old Trafford on Sunday before the Egyptian added a fifth early in the second half.
Naby Keita and Diogo Jota put Jurgen Klopp’s men in command within 15 minutes before Salah continued his scintillating form to become the top-scoring African player in the Premier League’s history.
It is the first time Manchester United have ever trailed 4-0 at half-time in a Premier League game.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was greeted with a chorus of boos at the half-time whistle with his future in charge of the Red Devils increasingly under threat.
Solskjaer’s men had taken just one point from their previous three league games to fall eight points behind Chelsea at the top of the table.
United came from 2-0 down at the break to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
But former midfielder Paul Scholes’ warning after that match that Liverpool would be 4-0 up in 45 minutes if handed the same space to attack into came to fruition.
United have now kept just one clean sheet in 21 games and the defensive issues that have blighted their season were easily exposed by Liverpool.
Salah set up Keita to slot home the opener after just five minutes.
Jota justified his selection ahead of Sadio Mane as he stretched to turn in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to double Liverpool’s advantage.
Salah has now scored in 10 consecutive games and overtook Didier Drogba with his 105th Premier League goal when he turned home Keita’s cut-back with the United defence all at sea again.
Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to avoid a red card as United’s frustrations bubbled over in first-half stoppage time as he was booked for lashing out at Curtis Jones.
But Liverpool inflicted further punishment before the break when Salah smashed home his 14th goal in 12 games this season at David de Gea’s near post.
Salah then completed his hat-trick with another cool finish five minutes into the second half to make it 5-0.