Liverpool breathed life into their top-four hopes with a 2-0 win at fourth-placed Newcastle United, who had Nick Pope sent off to rule him out of the EFL Cup final.

Newcastle had only lost once – to the Reds last April – at St James' Park in the league over the past 12 months, but they came unstuck on Saturday thanks to the visitors' clinical finishing.

Darwin Nunez's first Premier League goal since November edged Liverpool ahead before Cody Gakpo netted for the second game running, but it was not until Nick Pope's dismissal in the 22nd minute that Newcastle looked doomed.

Even then, Eddie Howe's men coped well with the disadvantage and had chances to reduce the arrears, but the crossbar and Alisson kept them at bay as Liverpool moved to within six points of the top four.

Newcastle began brightly but were trailing in the 10th minute, Nunez beating Pope after exquisitely bringing down Trent Alexander-Arnold's pass.

It was 2-0 soon after.

Another divine pass, this time from Mohamed Salah, sliced open Newcastle's defence to find Gakpo, who stabbed home under Pope.

Things quickly got even worse for Newcastle as Pope rushed out of his box and fell on the ball hands first, earning him a straight red.

Newcastle responded well, almost pulling one back twice as Allan Saint-Maximin and Dan Burn both hit the bar.

But Liverpool reached the break unscathed, and they gave little away in the second half.

Callum Wilson should have halved the deficit late on, however, failing to beat Alisson when one-on-one as the Brazilian preserved his clean sheet.