Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates scoring his workforce’s first objective in the course of the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 14, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Liverpool moved 11 factors clear on the high of the Premier League due to Mohamed Salah’s double, however had some wasteful ending from bottom-of-the-table Watford to thank for a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
The Hornets stay six factors adrift of security, however will surprise how they headed dwelling empty handed after having fun with the overwhelming majority of the probabilities towards the European champions.
Salah produced the 2 moments of actual high quality from Jurgen Klopp’s males by ending off from a fast counter-attack from a Watford nook to open the scoring earlier than flicking dwelling a second a minute from time.
Nigel Pearson was taking cost of Watford for the primary time and the impetus of a brand new supervisor confirmed with the 40-point distinction between the edges at reverse ends of the desk not in proof of their performances.
However, the large distinction was apparent in each containers because the league’s lowest scorers handed up a bunch of big alternatives, while Salah was lethal.
Only Watford’s profligacy allowed Liverpool to maintain a primary clear sheet at Anfield all season as Troy Deeney simply failed to succeed in a teasing cross throughout the face of objective earlier than Will Hughes dragged a shot simply facet.
Abdoulaye Doucoure then utterly miscued with the objective at his mercy from Etienne Capoue’s intelligent cut-back with what extremely was solely the second most embarrassing mishit of the half from Watford.
After so many missed probabilities, the guests had been made to pay by the ruthless runaway leaders as 15 seconds after a Watford nook, the ball was of their internet.
All three of Liverpool’s attacking trident had been concerned as Roberto Firmino’s move over his head freed Sadio Mane down the left and he fed Salah to chop inside on his weaker proper foot to bend the ball brilliantly into the far nook.
Watford ought to nonetheless have been degree earlier than the break when Ismaila Sarr someway additionally failed to attach with Alisson Becker grounded after parrying Gerard Deulofeu’s cross.
Sarr was wasteful once more initially to the second half as he blasted straight at Alisson with Deeney pleading for a cross.
Liverpool’s additional high quality within the ultimate third was in proof as soon as extra when Mane headed in from Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross, however the Senegalese’s celebrations had been lower quick when the objective was dominated out by a VAR for essentially the most marginal of offside calls.
That handed Pearson’s males a lifeline, however once more they did not take their likelihood to capitalise when Deulofeu broke clear by means of on objective just for Alisson to avoid wasting as soon as extra.
This was Liverpool’s seventh sport in a run of 15 matches in 50 days throughout 5 competitions and the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s squad was not solely proven in a jaded show however one other damage blow.
Georginio Wijnaldum limped off on the hour mark and will now be a doubt for the Reds’ try and win the Club World Cup in Qatar later this week.
However, Liverpool will journey to the Middle East in buoyant temper even when Leicester handle to chop their double-digit lead again to eight factors when the Foxes host Norwich in a while Saturday.
Salah made certain of the factors late on with an imaginative end to show dwelling Divock Origi’s mishit shot.