Liverpool coasted to a 5-0 win against Watford, providing the perfect response to last weekend’s loss to Manchester United in a show dominated by the brilliance of Mohamed Salah.
It took just five minutes for the Egyptian to net his 33rd goal of the season, equally Fernando Torres’ record of thirty-three goals in his debut season for The Reds. Dazzling his way down the right-hand side, Salah jinked his way past Britos, leaving the defender on his backside before smashing the ball home. Torres’ record wouldn’t last long, with Salah in a ruthless mood as he bagged his second before the interval. Some lovely combination play between Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mané saw the former get free down the wing, curling in a first-time cross with perfect precision. Such was the quality of the ball, the goalkeeper and onrushing centre-backs could do nothing but watch as Mo Salah tapped into an empty net, surpassing Torres’ record to add icing on the cake. The game also saw Mo Salah become only the third player to score 25 goals in a single campaign for Liverpool after Suarez (31 in 2013/14) and Robbie Fowler (28 in 1995-1996 and 25 in 1994-95).
Watford were bereft of any attacking intent all evening, with Karius forced into his first saved after 36 minutes of play. Richarlison’s timid header did little to threaten the German in between the sticks, while Van Dijk and Matip were left untroubled by an increasingly isolated Troy Deeney. A stark contrast to the defensive mishaps witnessed at Old Trafford, this was a relative walk in the park for Jurgen’s boys.
The half-time interval saw that walk turn into a jog as their further goals cemented Liverpool’s superiority over Watford while providing the perfect response to any criticisms of the week before. Roberto Firmino’s established somewhat of a reputation for his no-look goals this season, but the Brazilian surpassed even himself with a delightful flick to steer the ball into the far post after some great work by Salah down the right. Seen running back and harrying the opposition into mistakes, Firmino’s performance was a blueprint of everything he brings to this side. Tenacious off the ball and hugely creative on it, his outrageous finishing continues to go from strength to strength in his quest to silence those who doubted him.
The second half wouldn’t have been complete without some more magic from Mo Salah, though. The 25-year-old’s third certainly delivered in that respect; strolling his way into the box, Salah cut inside and wrong-footed three defenders before converting. Oh, and he had time to fall over. The first hat-trick for Salah at Liverpool converted in true style.
A seamless man of the match performance was capped off with an emphatic fourth goal in the dying embers on the match. Salah was everywhere on the Anfield turf on Saturday night, providing a real nuisance for the Watford defence after a relatively subdued display at Old Trafford. Danny Ings will be disappointed he couldn’t convert his chance to get on the scoresheet, but Mo was on hand to hit home and ensure Liverpool coasted to three points before the arduous international break.