Daniel Sturridge netted his first hat-trick in senior football as Liverpool condemned Fulham to a 3-1 loss at Craven Cottage - a fifth straight defeat for Martin Jol's toiling team.
Yet despite that awful run Fulham are effectively safe thanks to results elsewhere. They would need to lose at least 11-0 on the final day against Swansea in order to slip below both Aston Villa and Wigan.
Brendan Rodgers's side could easily have won by more than two goals as Sturridge netted his ninth, 10th and 11th goals of the season from 15 appearances in the Premier League.
Dimitar Berbatov had headed Fulham into the lead on 33 minutes with a simple header from Sascha Riether's cross.
But Sturridge assumed control from that point onwards with a stunning finish to level three minutes later as he left Aaron Hughes for dead to send a shot crashing high into the net from Andre Wisdom's hopeful ball from deep.
Sturridge then gave Liverpool the lead when he calmly stroked the ball into the net after a Philippe Coutinho effort had broken kindly for him on 62 minutes.
He completed his hat-trick when he bounded onto a gorgeous pass from Coutinho to lob Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal with five minutes remaining as the visiting fans sang his name.
Liverpool could be in trouble with the football authorities after some visiting fans let off flares in the stands at Craven Cottage, but that should not detract from Sturridge's day out.
In truth, the England player could have had more than three for the day with Fulham getting off lightly.
Fulham have failed to win their last four home league matches, and are fortunate to have avoided relegation on this form once their survival is confirmed. They last lost four top-flight home matches in succession from November to December 1962. To put that into some kind of perspective, Martin Jol was only six at the time.
Fulham will point to two decisions that went against them with the score at 1-1 after half-time.
Lucas clearly handled Bryan Ruiz's cross with a hand, but referee Mark Halsey somehow decided to wave play on.
Then Sebastián Coates felled Alexander Kacaniklic as he raced through on goal.
It would have been a straight red for Coates, but Halsey again said no.
Liverpool added insult to injury by dashing to the other end moments later to take the lead courtesy of Sturridge's second of the day, a composed finish with the Fulham defence leaving Schwarzer unprotected.
Schwarzer prevented Liverpool from inflicting further damage as he made fine stops to twice deny Sturridge in the second half while substitute Fabio Borini saw an effort come back off the inside of a post on 79 minutes.
Jose Reina made two significant saves of his own in the second period to swat away a Berbatov shot before somehow clawing out a Hughes header, but Fulham deserved what they ended the game with.
Fulham will try to stave off a sixth straight defeat at Swansea next Sunday, while Liverpool - already guaranteed seventh place in the standings - host relegated Queens Park Rangers at Anfield in their final outing of the season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool): A fabulous hat-trick from the forward, who was outstanding throughout the match with some of his passing a joy to behold.
Fulham: Schwarzer 8, Riether 7, Hughes 4, Hangeland 4, Richardson 5, Duff 5, Enoh 5, Karagounis 5, Kacaniklic 6, Ruiz 5, Berbatov 6..subs: Riise 6, Petric 6, Emanuelson 5
Liverpool: Reina 7, Johnson 7, Downing 7, Wisdom 7, Coates 6, Carragher 7, Lucas 6, Henderson 6, Shelvey 7, Coutinho 7, Sturridge 9..subs: Enrique 7, , Borini 7, Coady 6