London: Steven Gerrard marked his 400th Premier League appearance with a hat trick on Tuesday, leading Liverpool to a 3-0 win over local rival Everton.
Gerrard's performance will lift Liverpool's spirits before their clash against Stoke. AP
Gerrard opened the scoring in the 34th minute by curling a precise shot over three defenders and goalkeeper Tim Howard. The England midfielder then twice profited from good approach work by Luis Suarez, scoring in the 51st and in injury time.
Although a top-four place and Champions League qualification looks to be beyond Liverpool, the Reds are now five points clear of Everton and head into Sunday's FA Cup quarterfinal against Stoke in high spirits.
Liverpool has already won the League Cup and secured a return to continental competition next season.