A Roberto Firmino hat-trick and Sadio Mane’s 100th Premier League goal inspired Liverpool to another emphatic victory as they easily brushed aside Watford to run out 5-0 winners at Vicarage Road. This cruel, but needed lesson will have shown the Hornets’ new boss Claudio Ranieri just how tough his new job is and how much work needs to be done, while the visitors have once again shown they will not lie down in the race for the title.
The result gave Liverpool a new record, becoming the first ever top-flight side in England to score three-plus goals in seven consecutive away games in all competitions, while also extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 20 matches. And the world just seems to be running out of superlatives to describe this Liverpool side Jurgen Klopp has built over the last six years, but they are just brilliant to watch as another superb performance away from home showed. It was always going to be one of the toughest first fixtures Ranieri could have as Watford boss.
Liverpool were ahead inside the opening 10 minutes as Mane latched on to a world-class Mohamed Salah pass to reach that Premier League milestone. The Senegalese attacker joined his Reds teammate Salah in the exclusive centurion club and got his side up-and-running in an outstanding performance in Hertfordshire. The Watford players will be very disappointed with themselves for turning in a sub-par performance and they were rightly punished in the equivalent of a training exercise for the away side. Klopp’s men doubled their lead before the break as Roberto Firmino, coming in for Diogo Jota, scored his second league goal of the season when he capitalised on a disorganised yellow backline, and the Brazilian notched his second of the afternoon shortly after half-time.
The footwork is magical, the finish is sublime.
He had the Watford defence on strings! 😱
The game may have been a simple affair for the Merseyside club, but their performance was still remarkable. It is clear to see the effect Virgil van Dijk has on the side after his absence last season left his teammates lost as they failed in their attempt to retain their title, But, the giant Dutchman’s return has them full of ideas again, looking like the champions of two years ago. With the structure that he brings to the back and the threat Salah carries at the front, Liverpool are once again a force to be reckoned with in the top-flight. Salah added another for his side with another exquisite solo effort to make it eight goals in his last eight appearances for the Reds.
Liverpool were quick out the blocks and they had their first goal within the opening 10 minutes as Sadio Mane latched onto a sensational pass from Salah and guided the ball past Ben Foster. And they almost had a quick second as Salah had a curling effort parried away by Foster who did well to reach it. As the first half went on, Liverpool were unchallenged by Watford as Ranieri’s side were not showing the traditional new manager bounce. The players in yellow shirts were showing far too much respect to their opponents as they failed to a foothold in the game. The Reds were able to double their lead before the break after Roberto Firmino tapped in from close-range to finish off an excellent move that was orchestrated by James Milner.
Liverpool started the second-half as brightly as the first with two goals in quick succession. Firmino scored his second of the game after capitalising on Foster spilling the ball before Salah treated us to another sensational solo goal that was just as good as the one he scored against Manchester City a few weeks ago. The game was wrapped up when Firmino once again popped up at the far post to claim the match ball and make it another excellent away performance to propel the Reds to the top of the Premier League table.
Watford seemed to wake up when the second-half went on and managed to conjure up a few half-chances, but they had left it far too late and their new Italian boss will be eager to get them back on the training pitch in the week.