Liverpool went top of the Premier League for the first time under manager Jurgen Klopp with a phenomenal victory over Watford at Anfield.
- Sadio Mane’s acrobatic header finally put the Reds ahead.
- Philippe Coutinho drilled home from 20 yards 3 minutes later.
- Adam Lallana crossed for Emre Can to nod home before half-time.
- Roberto Firmino tapped in a Lallana cut-back.
- Brazilian turned provider and Mane slotted in a fifth amid slack defending.
- Wijnaldum completed the scoring in the 91st minute with his first goal for the club.
- Daniel Sturridge had struck the bar twice.
- 5th time Liverpool have scored four goals or more in the league this season.
- Liverpool had 27 attempts on goal.
- Premier League highest scorers with 30 goals from their 11 matches.
Knowing that Man City slipped up at home to Middlesbrough and Arsenal drew against Tottenham. Liverpool’s players knew victory would send them a point clear at the top of the league.
Chelsea had shown the Premier League not to rule them out, having defeated Liverpool’s neighbours Everton 5-0 on Saturday. Liverpool certainly did not show any signs of pressure.
Liverpool started with the usual high-speed passing. Watford simply could not cope with the slick interchanging. Typically Klopp’s front attackers have no positions. The just attack space!
A short corner from Milner to Coutinho who put in a sweet cross into box, met by a glancing Mané header.
Lovely interchanging passes between Lallana and Firmino who played in Coutinho unleashing a shot from outside the area. 2-0.
The fluid play of Coutinho, Lallana, Mane and Firmino carved open the Watford defence with ease. It was a ruthless performance from the attacking trident – full of confidence, rhythm and flair.
A long pass by Karius, knock down passed out to Lallana who’s perfectly timed cross was met by Can’s head. 3-0.
The message at half-time seemed to be clear; more pressure high up the pitch, more movement off the ball.
Captain Jordan Henderson has been a revelation this season. His exquisite 40 yard pass found Firmino with ease. Squaring it to Mane who came inside the penalty area, receiving the ball and scoring from 10 yards. 4-0. Even with his side coasting towards victory Klopp was barking more instructions to his players – Klopp was restless.
A Coutinho free kick, found Lallana on far left drilled in for Firmino to tap it in. 5-0
Unfortunately Watford did score. It was clear for all to see that Klopp was very angry about one thing – how Watford’s Janmaat was allowed to ghost into the box and slot home Amrabat’s pass. Sadly Watford’s consolation goal means Klopp’s side have only kept one clean sheet in the league this season – against Man United.
Do Liverpool need a striker?
Daniel Sturridge was without a goal in his past nine league games and, having come on to replace the excellent Lallana, he looked as if he had a point to prove.
But no matter what he did, the ball just would not go in.
Twice he struck the woodwork, once with a fierce left-footed drive that crashed against the bar as he drove in on goal from the left, later with a dipping strike from outside the box that was saved.
Sturridge should then have done better when cutting on to his left and firing straight at the keeper, but Klopp will have been impressed with his forward’s performance in the 20 minutes he was allowed.
Determination to score
Sturridge quick corner with Firmino, found substitute Ejaria, backheel finding Sturridge, left footed shot palmed out to Wijnaldum who scored his 1st Liverpool goal. 6-1. You could sense from the way Sturridge took the corner. The purpose in his face – he was determined to score.
The fact that there were five different goalscorers in the 6-1 win against Watford at Anfield just shows the strength of this Liverpool side.
Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana have the pace, movement and threat to pose a danger to any side.
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