Liverpool beat Watford 2-0 to momentarily go top of the Premier League table ahead of their massive clash at Manchester City next weekend.
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Diogo Jota scored in the first half and Fabinho’s late penalty sealed the win against a dogged Watford, as Jurgen Klopp’s side have now won 10 games on the trot in the Premier League.
They have 72 points from 30 games, while Roy Hodgson’s Watford remain on 22 and sit in the relegation zone but are scrapping away.
Liverpool vs Watford final score, stats
Liverpool 2-0 Watford
Goals scored: Jota 22′, Fabinho 89′
Shots: Liverpool 20, Watford 5
Shots on target: Liverpool 3, Watford 2
Possession: Liverpool 74, Watford 26
Three things we learned from Liverpool vs Watford
1. Grinding Reds go top: They are doing what they need to do to win games. Nothing more. Nothing less. This wasn’t a fluid, flamboyant Liverpool display but they kept their fifth clean sheet in a row (seventh in their last eight in the PL) and won for the 10th game in a row to put pressure on Man City ahead of their huge showdown next weekend. This is a Liverpool side which looks unflustered and in total control.
2. Gomez plays his part: He whipped in a delicious cross for Jota’s goal and played his part as he stood in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right back. Gomez could play against Benfica in the Champions League in midweek to make sure that TAA is fully fit for the game at Man City, as he showed that even out of position at right back he can slot in and be solid when needed. Gomez has been the forgotten man at Liverpool this season but his versatility is so useful, especially at this stage of the campaign.
3. Watford should still have hope: Okay, so they lost again and sit in the relegation zone but Watford caused Liverpool some problems on the break and they have enough attacking talent to get themselves out of danger. They have Brentford, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Everton to play and they must win three of those games to have any real chance of staying up. They can do it. Seriously.
Man of the Match: Thiago Alcantara – Dominated the tempo of the game from central midfield.
Reds take lead after slow start
Watford had the first big chance of the game as a corner from the right found Cucho Hernandez but his flicked header was straight at Alisson.
The Hornets almost took the lead after Juraj Kucka was set free but Liverpool had Alisson to thank for a big save, then seconds later the hosts took the lead.
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Joe Gomez whipped in a brilliant cross and Jota nodded home in front of Ben Foster to make it 1-0.
Watford hang in there
Foster denied Jota a second before the break with a good stop, as Liverpool huffed and puffed to find a second.
Watford almost equalized as Ismaila Sarr was played in and found Joao Pedro, but he slotted his effort inches wide. Sarr may have been offside in the build-up, but it was a huge let-off for Liverpool.
Jota punched a header over from a great position as tension was high inside Anfield late on as Watford took more chances.
Job done for Liverpool
However, a penalty kick in the 89th minute sealed the win as Kucka hauled down Jota in the box and Fabinho slotted home the spot kick.