This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Luis Suarez romped to the top of the Premier League scoring charts as Liverpool destroyed Wigan.
The striker's hat-trick gave him 21 goals to edge ahead of Robin van Persie.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has talked up Suarez's credentials as player of the year and the Uruguayan presented his own case in the most compelling way.
Rodgers said: "Luis is such a pleasure to work with. His quality, creativity, finishing and work rate make him world-class."
Meanwhile, Liverpool's other scorer Stewart Downing raved: "Luis must be a nightmare to defend against. He can be quiet in a game at times and then scores a goal out of nothing.
"He has been tremendous this season. We wanted to start really well and did that.
"Getting the early goal settled us down and we were the better team."
The constant terror Suarez inflicted on sorry Wigan was testament to his irrepressible skills.
Downing gave Liverpool a second-minute lead and then Suarez took over as Rodgers' team cruised to a win that reinforces their interest in the contest for European places.
It also deflated Wigan's crusade for yet another season of Premier League salvation and reduced them to squabbling among themselves.
They have mustered only two wins at home this campaign and that wretched record could prove their undoing.
If Suarez was the star of the show, Philippe Coutinho, the 20-year-old Brazilian recruit from Internazionale, was outstanding as the support act. The youngster, operating from the left but ever prepared to find space, provided further evidence of his precocious talent.
He created the first two goals and illuminated Liverpool's play with his touch, mobility and vision.
Every other Liverpool player contributed to the destruction with disciplined application.
Wigan, meanwhile, rarely produced the flowing, purposeful football that has earned them fond acclaim and when they did engineer openings they found Pepe Reina in exceptional form.
Roberto Martinez must have feared the worst within a couple of minutes. Arouna Kone had the chance to sustain his goalscoring run and his failure to turn in Emmerson Boyce's cross was compounded by Liverpool's opener.
Reina fed Coutinho, who beat Boyce on the outside and lifted the ball for Downing to head past Ali Al Habsi.
It wasn't long before Coutinho cleverly played a pass between Boyce and Gary Caldwell for Suarez to gather in his stride and clinically slot inside the near post.
Reina saved acrobatically from Boyce's volley as Wigan sought a foothold. Instead, they were in danger of disintegrating.
James McArthur, Wigan's masked midfield player, reacted as menacingly as he looked, clashing with Boyce as their teammates looked on in disbelief.
Wigan's sense of despair deepened when Suarez's free-kick took a deflection off Shaun Maloney and went in off the foot of a post.
Again Wigan fashioned a response and again Reina denied them, tipping over Franco di Santo's header.
Suarez completed his hat-trick after the break, running on to Glen Johnson's through-pass to push the ball expertly between Al Habsi's legs.
Reina had to react smartly twice more the keep out Maloney's efforts before James McCarthy cleared off the line from Liverpool sub Jordan Henderson.