Liverpool cruised past Watford in impressive style at Anfield on Saturday evening with a 5-0 victory that moves the Reds back above Tottenham Hotspur and into 3rd place (albeit having played a game more). Goals for Mohamed Salah (x4) and Roberto Firmino meant that last weeks open wound was healed slightly.
The build up to the game had been somewhat understated with the events of last Saturday still hanging over the fans’ heads. It was all about how Jurgen Klopp’s men could bounce back.
And bounce back they did.
It took only 4 minutes for Liverpool to make their mark on the game as Sadio Mane, who looked to be regaining some of his creative spark, played in Salah on the right wing. Even at this point the Egyptian still had a man to beat but the way he did it looked amazingly like what Lionel Messi did to Jerome Boateng in the Champions League a few years ago. He put Miguel Britos on his behind with some magical feet and finished under the helpless body of Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis…with his right foot!! 1-0 to Liverpool. Salah’s 25th Premier League goal (33 in all competitions) of the season. Simple.
From then on it all kind of felt like it was played in 2nd gear. Watford didn’t really have any chances to shout about, other than a header from Richarlison that was saved by Loris Karius. It remained at 1-0 all the way until just before half time when a nice one-two between Mane and Andrew Robertson allowed the flying Scotsman to whip a pinpoint low cross towards the back post where that man Salah was waiting and ready to finish…with his right foot!! 2-0. Salah’s 26th Premier League goal (34 in all competitions) of the season. Cruising.
The only difference in the second half performance was the identity of the first goal scorer. Salah picked up the ball down the right wing and drove towards the penalty area. The delivery he gave was fast but to everyone (including my own) astonishment Roberto Firmino was on hand to jump and direct the ball with the inside of his right thigh (!!) past Karnezis and into the Watford net. It was a special goal from a special player who now takes his tally to 23 goals in all competitions this season, his best tally in professional football. 3-0. Brazilian magic.
The status quo was resumed in the 77th minute as our Egyptian King received the ball from Mane in the box and twist and turned around at least 5 Watford players to finish into the bottom left corner…with his left foot!! Strangely it is his first hattrick since he signed for Liverpool last year. The fact he’s scored in so many games and he has as many goals as he does is a testament (if any more was needed) that this is a special player in special form. 4-0 to Liverpool. Egyptian King.
Danny Ings came on towards the end and his shot was the source of the rebound that Salah scored his 4th of the day from. It came after Ings had another shot denied by the Watford keeper as it looks more and more likely that the English striker will never score again. Joking of course but the guy really needs a break. 5-0 to Liverpool. Game over.
Now comes the dreaded international break. Liverpool’s next game is on the 31st March against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Yay. See you then Reds!