MX23RW : Saturday, March 2 23:13:09
Feb 27, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,316
Liverpool
5-0
Watford
Mane (9', 20'), Origi (66'), van Dijk (79', 82')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Liverpool sweep aside concerns with comfortable win over Watford

Result: Liverpool sweep aside concerns with comfortable win over Watford
© Reuters
Mane and Virgil Van Dijk scored twice with Divock Origi also on target for the Reds.

Premier League leaders Liverpool brushed aside concerns about their recent struggles as Sadio Mane had a starring role in a resounding 5-0 win at home to a toothless Watford.

Questions were starting to be asked after four draws in their last five matches in all competitions but this performance was a return to the verve and inventiveness which they desperately needed to rediscover.

It was typified by Mane's – and Liverpool's – second of the night: a brilliant backheel from 12 yards out which caught goalkeeper Ben Foster unawares.

The Senegal international had already, somewhat surprisingly, scored with a header having been given the job of central striker in the absence of the injured Roberto Firmino.

Firmino's replacement Divock Origi, who was posted on the left wing to accommodate Mane in his new role, added the third in the second half with Virgil Van Dijk scoring two headers in the final 11 minutes.

Mane's double meant this is his best Premier League goalscoring return of 14 goals, with 10 matches still to go, and was the fifth home league match in succession in which he had found the net.

The result was exactly the boost Liverpool, still a point ahead of Manchester City, needed to inject life into what some argued was a flagging title challenge and the last thing Everton, hosts of Sunday's Merseyside derby, wanted to see.

And it was hardly as if Watford were there for the taking, arriving at Anfield having won six and drawn four of their last 11 matches.

But they ran into a re-energised and clinical Liverpool side who took out their frustrations from Sunday's goalless draw at Old Trafford on opponents who were just not allowed into the game.

The move of playing Mane through the middle may have been more down to necessity than design but it paid off with the Senegal international providing the cutting edge which had been missing.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's return at right-back was also a key factor as he and Mohamed Salah ripped Watford's left flank to shreds with Adam Masina enduring a torturous evening.

The 25-year-old received little in the way of support from midfielder Roberto Pereya in front of him and it was no surprise three of the goals came from that side.

Liverpool's opener, after nine minutes, was simple in its execution as Alexander-Arnold whipped over a cross so perfect Mane, the smallest man in the penalty area, scored a classic centre-forward goal as he rose to head home.

Mane's second came from the same area with Salah cutting Watford to shreds down the right allowing Alexander-Arnold to swing over another inch-perfect ball.

The striker's first touch took him away from goal but the 26-year-old showed an awareness not always associated with him in the final third, surprising Ben Foster with a backheel from 12 yards out.

Salah, who was denied by a combination of Foster and a post, was the architect of the move of the match when he collected his raking crossfield ball back from Origi and dinked a chip through for the on-rushing Andy Robertson to volley wide.

Watford's one first-half chance was bundled wide by Troy Deeney from former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu's cross.

After the break Mane was denied a hat-trick by Craig Cathcart's close-range block but Origi got the goal his considerable leg-work down the left deserved when he cut in to beat Foster at his near post in the 66th minute.

Alisson Becker twice denied substitute Andre Gray before Van Dijk struck with two headers from crosses by the superb Alexander-Arnold and fellow full-back Robertson.

Share this article now:
Watford's Gerard Deulofeu inflicts misery on Cardiff City hearts on February 22, 2019
Read Next:
PL Team of the Week - Lacazette, Deulofeu, Alisson
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Scottish Cup
Scottish Premiership
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
NIFL Premiership
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Argentine Primera Division
Liga MX
Uruguayan Primera Division
Major League Soccer
Australian A-League
Chinese Super League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City29232476205671
2Liverpool28216164154969
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs29201856302661
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd29177558382058
5Arsenal29176661392257
6Chelsea27165647291853
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29127103735243
8Watford28117103940-140
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham29116123741-439
10Everton28106123939036
11Leicester CityLeicester28105133439-535
12Bournemouth29104153954-1534
13Crystal Palace2996143539-433
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2987142636-1031
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2886143041-1130
16Burnley2986153253-2130
17Southampton2969143249-1727
18Cardiff CityCardiff2974182557-3225
19Fulham2845192663-3717
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2935211551-3614

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account