Match ends, Liverpool 3, Crystal Palace 1.
Liverpool 3-1 Crystal Palace
Luis Suarez scored on his first Anfield appearance since April as he and strike partner Daniel Sturridge helped Liverpool beat Crystal Palace.
The Uruguayan, who served a 10-match ban for biting, scored a superb opener, steering in while lying on the floor.
Sturridge then found the bottom corner after a twisting run before Steven Gerrard scored from the penalty spot.
Dwight Gayle netted a late header for Palace but Liverpool's victory lifted them to the Premier League summit.
With previous leaders Arsenal playing West Brom on Sunday, the Reds are a point clear at the top having played a game more.
A blistering first-half showing saw Suarez and Sturridge continue fine goalscoring runs, while also showing they are growing into a formidable partnership.
Suarez has scored 19 goals in his last 22 Liverpool games, while Sturridge has 19 in 25 games since joining the club in January.
The South American's performance, in particular, would have pleased former player and manager Kenny Dalglish, who signed Suarez in 2011 and joined the club's board as a non-executive director this week.
Defeat for Ian Holloway's Palace side was their fourth in succession, and leaves them two points ahead of bottom side Sunderland.
And given the potency of Liverpool's forwards, it was perhaps surprising Holloway picked an adventurous 4-3-3 formation in trying to repeat a famous Anfield win while in charge of Blackpool three years ago.
There was no doubting that Suarez was the leading man in his first appearance at Anfield since biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, and his opener after 14 minutes was a case in point.
After good work from Victor Moses, he passed to the overlapping Jose Enrique and then collected his return ball to fire in from 12 yards despite falling over.
It showed poise, balance and strength, and within three minutes Palace were further behind when Enrique's long pass was headed onto Sturridge, who turned Damien Delaney before netting.
Palace looked stunned but began to recover and Jimmy Kebe twice went close after a surging run.
His tame goalbound shot was cleared by Kolo Toure before Simon Mignolet saved superbly after the Malian touched Cameron Jerome's shot. Jason Puncheon then blazed over.
Home defender Mamadou Sakho then almost sliced into his own net following Jerome's cross as the visitors regained their composure.
But Holloway's side went further behind when Dean Moxey tugged at Raheem Sterling's arm and, although contact was on the edge of the penalty area, referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot after advice from his assistant.
Gerrard sent Julian Speroni the wrong way to score for the 15th consecutive league season, a club record.
Moses hit the bar from two yards out before the break but Liverpool's performance dipped after the interval.
Holloway tightened things up by bringing on another midfielder, Jose Campana, while Gayle replaced Jerome up front.
Palace improved as a result and when Gayle headed in Campana's free-kick with 14 minutes remaining, it looked like Liverpool might wobble.
It proved fleeting, however, and Sturridge almost grabbed a second when he hit the post late on.
Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway on Liverpool's disputed penalty: "I've just seen it and I'm bemused. Was it outside the box and was it really a foul? If you want to compare it to anything, Jimmy Kebe is pulled much worse by Mamadou Sakho at the other end. If one is a penalty and one isn't, I don't understand.
"We just got one or two things wrong and this level is so unforgiving. Luis Suarez could fall over and still score and that's a terrible scenario for us."
- 17SakhoSubstituted forAggerat 67'minutes
- 4K Touré
- 3Enrique Sanchez Diaz
- 31SterlingBooked at 76mins
- 15SturridgeSubstituted forIago Aspasat 88'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 12MosesSubstituted forRomero Alconchelat 66'minutes
- 6Romero Alconchel
- 9Iago Aspas
- 12O'KeefeBooked at 10mins
- 28KébéSubstituted forGayleat 45'minutes
- 29ChamakhSubstituted forBolasieat 68'minutes
- 30JeromeSubstituted forCampañaat 45'minutes
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Liverpool 3, Crystal Palace 1.
Iago Aspas (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by José Enrique (Liverpool).
Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by José Campaña (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Liverpool. Iago Aspas replaces Daniel Sturridge.
Offside, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Luis Suárez.
Offside, Liverpool. Kolo Touré tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dean Moxey.
Foul by Luis Suárez (Liverpool).
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Liverpool 3, Crystal Palace 1. Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by José Campaña with a cross following a set piece situation.
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).