London: Liverpool climbed out of the relegation zone thanks to Maxi Rodriguez`s late winner against Bolton and Kevin Nolan`s hat trick helped Newcastle thrash Sunderland 5-1 for its biggest win over its northeast rival for 54 years.
Rodriguez toe-poked home in the 86th minute to earn Liverpool a second successive Premier League win, after last weekend`s victory against Blackburn, and lift the 18-time champions into midtable yesterday.
Newcastle moved into seventh place by routing 10-man Sunderland thanks to Nolan`s haul and two goals by Shola Amoebi - one coming from the penalty spot. Titus Bramble was sent off against his former club when the score was 3-0, with Sunderland`s consolation coming from Darren Bent.
In the day`s other game, Aston Villa and Birmingham drew 0-0 in a match of few clear-cut chances. Both teams find themselves leapfrogged in the table by Liverpool, which is now 12th and slowly finding its feet in the Premier League after its worst start to a campaign in 57 years.
The Reds are still far from their fluent best but looked solid at the back against Bolton and created a number of opportunities, notably for Fernando Torres, before Rodriguez found the net late on for his first goal of the season after being played through by Torres` deft flick.
Torres wasted two chances in the opening eight minutes, the second coming when he was played through on goal by Steven Gerrard but cut inside instead of shooting.
Gerrard sent a shot wide and Sotiris Krygiakos had a header saved by Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen while at the other end, Kevin Davies was denied a penalty when he appeared to be pushed and then glanced a header just wide.
Rodriguez`s late goal lifted Liverpool six places in the table, and Roy Hodgson`s side is three points behind fifth-place Tottenham ahead of next weekend`s home match against league leader Chelsea.
Newcastle`s stunning win at St James` Park would have been particularly pleasing for manager Chris Hughton, who was handed a vote of confidence by the club`s board in midweek after recent media speculation about his future.