Watford vs Liverpool ended in a mauling, as Roberto Firmino scored a hat trick and Mohamed Salah starred for Jurgen Klopp’s men in a 5-0 win.
FULL MATCH REPLAY
Claudio Ranieri got off to a torrid start as Watford manager, as Sadio Mane gave Liverpool an early lead, Mohamed Salah scored another sensational goal and Roberto Firmino finished off three fine Liverpool attacks.
The win means Liverpool are the only unbeaten Premier League team through the first eight games of the season, with six wins and two draws.
Watford have seven points from eight games.
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Watford vs Liverpool final score, stats
Watford 0-5 Liverpool
Goals scored: (Mane 9′; Firmino 37′, 52′, 90′; Salah 54′)
Shots: Watford 6, Liverpool 18
Shots on target: Watford 2, Liverpool 7
Possession: Watford 23, Liverpool 77
3 things we learned: Watford vs Liverpool
1. Salah is unstoppable: He almost replicated his sensational goal against Manchester City, and he was unplayable from the first whistle. Salah is at the peak of his powers right now and he is probably the best player in the world on current form. Scratch that. He is the best player in the world on current form.
2. Ranieri’s rough start gets off to worst possible start: Watford played like a team who didn’t want to get beat, and it didn’t work out for them. Ranieri set them up in a back five and from the start they were nervous and couldn’t string a pass together. With all of the big boys to come in the coming weeks, this defeat underlined just how big of a job Ranieri has to do. Watford will stay up if they can beat the teams around them, but they have to have some kind of attacking intent against the big boys.
3. Liverpool going under the radar: Somehow they are still flying under the radar when it comes to the Premier League title race. Jurgen Klopp is totally fine with that and with Firmino coming in for Jota and scoring a hat trick, plus Milner and Keita looking solid in midfield, this squad looks a lot stronger this season. If injuries are kind to Liverpool, they will be right up there at the end of this season.
Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah – His assist and goal were sensational and he is probably the best player in the world right now.
Mohamed Salah hit the crossbar early on, but Sadio Mane was offside in the build-up. Salah then latched on to a superb pass from Virgil van Dijk, but his shot was deflected over.
Then Liverpool took the lead.
Salah set Mane up to put Liverpool 1-0 up, as the Egyptian King got free on the right and picked out Mane perfectly. The goal was Mane’s 100th in the Premier League, and Liverpool got off to a perfect start.
Ben Foster then made a superb stop from (guess who?) Salah, to tip his curling effort away. After a great pass from Alexander-Arnold, Foster then rushed off his line to deny Salah moments later, as Liverpool were rampant.
Cucho Hernandez was then played in by Ismaila Sarr, but Alexander-Arnold made a fantastic last-ditch tackle… but Hernandez was offside.
Moussa Sissoko was doing his best to keep Liverpool at bay, as Salah continued to cause problems.
Roberto Firmino then doubled Liverpool’s lead as James Milner surged forward and was played in by Mane who crossed for Firmino to tap home and make it 2-0.
Naby Keita’s deflected shot then clipped the bar as Liverpool ran riot in the first half.
At the start of the second half Liverpool made it 3-0, as Firmino reacted to a loose ball after Watford tried to clear and he finished.
Salah then turned Watford inside out, and curled a beauty in to the far corner to make it 4-0. His brilliance knows no bounds.
Watford had a few chances late on but Liverpool wasted a chance as Mane fluffed his lines, then Firmino sealed his hat trick with the last kick of the game as he finished off another incisive attack.
Watford team news, injuries, lineup
Nigerian midfielder Peter Etebo is out for a lengthy period of time after suffering a thigh injury which required surgery. He isn’t expected back until March 2022. Josh King is back in training and could be fit, but Francisco Sierralta, Nicolas N’Koulou and Christian Kabasele are all out.
🚨 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🚨
Here's the side Claudio Ranieri has picked for his first game in charge of the Hornets!#WATLIV pic.twitter.com/hivRmrsKTM
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 16, 2021
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota are fit and available, which is a big boost for Klopp. TAA starts. Thiago Alcantara remains out with a lower leg injury and Curtis Jones is now out after being injured while with England’s U21 side. Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Fabinho and Alisson will not be available. Both played for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday and they will now travel to Madrid and link-up with Liverpool ahead of their UEFA Champions League clash in midweek. Kelleher starts in goal.
⭐ 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 ⭐
The Reds to take on @WatfordFC this afternoon 👊 #WATLIV
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 16, 2021
Watford vs Liverpool preamble
Watford vs Liverpool is an intriguing Premier League clash on Saturday (start time 7:30am ET on Peacock Premium) as Claudio Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp lock horns at Vicarage Road.
Ranieri, 69, is back in the Premier League after he replaced Xisco Munoz during the international break. Watford have seven points after seven games of the season, not a terrible return for a newly-promoted team, but they have so many tough games coming up. Starting with Liverpool at home. Ismaila Sarr has caused Liverpool some problems in the past and Ranieri will set Watford up to be tough to break down and dangerous on the break.
This may be a good time to play Jurgen Klopp’s men. With question marks over plenty of players and their availability after returning from international duty late, it could be a much-changed Liverpool side. That said, they remain unbeaten in the Premier League so far this season and have looked back to their best.
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Watford are the heavy underdogs at +750 to win, while Liverpool are at -304 to win. The draw is +400.
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There is the slight whiff of an upset in the air here. Watford have stunned Liverpool before and the new manager bounce, combined with Liverpool’s stars flying all over the world for international games, has to be taken into account. That said, Klopp’s side have looked so good for most of this season. Salah and Mane will do the damage. Watford 1-2 Liverpool.