Liverpool moved to within five points of the top four as their recent upturn in form continued with an emphatic victory over Swansea at Anfield.
The home side took the lead through Alberto Moreno’s close-range finish.
Adam Lallana made it 2-0 when Lukasz Fabianski’s attempted clearance struck him and found the net before Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson hit back immediately.
But Lallana struck again with a low finish and Jonjo Shelvey’s headed own goal from a corner sealed the rout.
It could have been worse for Swansea, with Raheem Sterling striking the post with a shot from an angle and substitute Mario Balotelli drawing a good save from Fabianski with a low drive.
It has been a year of two halves for Liverpool, who began 2014 with drive, purpose and a 16-game unbeaten run to take them to within a whisker of an unexpected Premier League title, but in the last few months have been characterised by doubt and inconsistency.
Aptly, this was a game of two very different halves, with a slow-paced and unmemorable first period giving way to a dynamic and entertaining one after the break.
Liverpool were the better side in both – especially the second – to ensure they end the year with back-to-back victories that lift them up to eighth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Southampton.
Without the injured Daniel Sturridge, the Reds still lack strength up front, which was most apparent in the stale 33 minutes before Moreno darted into the box to finish Jordan Henderson’s low cross to give them the lead.
But, in spreading three of his quickest and most skilful players – Lallana, Sterling and Philippe Coutinho – across the forward line, manager Brendan Rodgers has at least discovered an effective alternative, reports the BBC.
And with Henderson and Lucas putting in the hard yards behind them, Rodgers was vindicated in his decision to leave out captain Steven Gerrard, who had started all seven of their previous fixtures this month.
The pick of the bunch was Lallana, who put a poor first-half miss behind him to assert himself decisively on the game.