Sport Soccer

Saturday 21 July 2018

Liverpool v Watford – story of the match

Mohamed Salah scored four in Liverpool’s 5-0 romp.

Liverpool eased to victory over Watford
Liverpool eased to victory over Watford

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Mohamed Salah scored four as Liverpool thrashed Watford 5-0 on a freezing evening at Anfield.

The prolific Egyptian also set up the hosts’ other goal for Roberto Firmino as Liverpool climbed back to third in the Premier League.

Watford offered little in a one-sided contest aside from a dipping free-kick from Roberto Pereyra which hit the bar when they were already 3-0 down.

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A graphic of Liverpool v Watford

What they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure. As it always is in life, if you have to have the skills you have to show that constantly and consistently, and he is very good. He helps us a lot. The boys love playing together with him, he loves playing with them so it’s good.”

Watford manager Javi Gracia: “We know we were playing against one of the best teams in Europe at this moment and they were much better than us. We tried to play like a team, we tried to find the best option but we need to compete with the best level we can and it was not the best performance for us today.”

Tweet of the match

Footballer turned radio pundit Joey Barton offers an indication of how cold it was at Anfield.

Star man – Mohamed Salah

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Salah tormented the Hornets

Salah’s outstanding season continued with four more goals, incredibly including his first hat-trick for the club despite scoring with remarkable frequency. The haul took him into the outright lead in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot with 28, four ahead of Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Yet it was not only for his finishing ability that he impressed. His pace repeatedly troubled Watford and he created a couple of good chances for Firmino.

Moment of the match

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Firmino brilliantly flicked in Liverpool's third goal

Firmino’s finish for Liverpool’s third goal was a moment of high class. Having scored the opening two goals, Salah then turned provider by breaking clear down the right and cutting back to cross from the byline. Firmino ran onto the ball and brilliantly flicked it between his legs to score at the near post.

Data point

Salah’s quadruple took him to 36 goals for the season in all competitions, a new record for a Liverpool player in their debut season for the club. The previous best was Fernando Torres with 33 in the 2007-08 season.

Ratings

Liverpool: Loris Karis 6 (out of 10), Joe Gomez 6, Virgil van Dijk 6, Joel Matip 6, Andy Robertson 7, Giorginio Wijnaldum 6, Jordan Henderson 6, Emre Can 5, Mohamed Salah 9, Roberto Firmino 7, Sadio Mane 6. Substitutes: James Milner (for Can, 27) 7, Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain (for Wijnaldum, 71) 6, Danny Ings (for Firmino, 79) 6.

Watford: Orestis Karnezis 7, Kiko Femenia 5, Adrian Mariappa 5, Sebastian Prodl 5, Miguel Britos 5, Jose Holebas 5, Abdoulaye Doucoure 5, Etienne Capoue 5, Richarlison 6, Roberto Pereyra 6, Troy Deeney 5. Substitutes: Will Hughes (for Richarlison, 65) 5, Stefano Okaka (for Deeney, 70) 5, Daryl Janmaat (for Britos, 81) 5.

Who’s up next?

Crystal Palace v Liverpool (Premier League, March 31)
Watford v Bournemouth (Premier League, March 31)

Press Association

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