Watford 0-3 Liverpool: Gusty Reds unleash second-half beast to run riot at Vicarage Road
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Watford 0-3 Liverpool: Gusty Reds unleash second-half beast to run riot at Vicarage Road

Liverpool's victory ensured they made their record start to a Premier League season as well as kept up the pressure with leaders Manchester City 

Joshua Kerr
watford-fcFoster, Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Masina, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes (Gray 75), Pereyra, Deulofeu (Success 57'), Deeney
liverpool-fcAlisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri (Milner 74), Firmino (Matip 90+2), Mane, Salah (Fabinho 86)
SCORE0-1, Min. 67, Salah, 0-2, Min. 76, Alexander-Arnold, 0-3, Min. 89, Firmino
INCIDENTSPremier League Gameweek 13 Clash at Vicarage Road

A convincing 3-0 victory at Vicarage Road for Liverpool ensured the Reds kept up the pressure with Premier League leaders Manchester City to keep them within two points of the champions after an emphatic win against Watford.

Mohamed Salah set Jürgen Klopp's side on their way after the Reds front three all linked together before Sadio Mane pulled it back for his Egyptian teammate to fire home and give the visitor's the advantage.

Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a moment of magic after his stunning free-kick doubled proceedings and Roberto Firmino's tap-in sealed the win despite the Reds having captain Jordan Henderson sent off in the second half.

Emphatic win ensured record start as well as defensive legacy

Liverpool are now 13 unbeaten in the league registering 33 points - from a possible 39 - to ensure their best ever start to a Premier League campaign.

Also, another clean sheet on the road ensured that the five goals they've conceded all season is the best defensive club record at this stage of any top-flight season, though they were sceptical to some shaky moments at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Javi Gracia's Watford may have been aggrieved to be denied a penalty when Andrew Robertson seemed to impede Will Hughes while the scoring was still goalless.

It was the turning point of the match for the hosts, who were in the contest for the opening 60 minutes of the affair. However, once they fell behind to Salah's prodded effort there was no way back for the hosts as the visitor's expressed their class to cruise to the three points.

Liverpool once again were by no means at their fluent and devastating best, but, another important win certainly endorses their credentials as potential title-challengers and once again cranked up the pressure on leaders City.

Alexander-Arnold once again comes of age

Salah's effort may have opened the scoring for the Reds in the second period, but, Alexander Arnold's second league goal for the club - his second in the space of 10 days for club and country - put to bed Watford's strangle on the game and left Liverpool to run riot.

It was another defining moment in the youngster's career and further evidence of his undeniable quality after his whipped effort from 25 yards left Hornet's keeper Ben Foster helplessly watching as the ball was thundered into the top corner.

It meant the England international scored in consecutive matches for the first time in his career after opening his Three Lions account in England's 3-0 win over the USA.

Liverpool endured a testing first-half and looked very unsettled by the Watford pressure and perseverance of Gracia's team who forged many troubling moments for the visitor's who failed to capitalise on mistakes from the Reds.

Alisson Becker had a head in your hands moment when his sloppy pass allowed Watford to steal possession on the edge of the box which eventually came to nothing. The Brazilian did, however, recover to deny  Roberto Pereyra with a fine save while the game was still in the balance.

No way back for hosts

The Reds eventually found their rhythm when full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson both came to the fore - the Scotland captain being the standout player of the match.

Both players were crucial to the front three being able to rekindle their mojo. Salah, Firmino and Mane all tormented the hosts with their quick pace and breakneck counter-attacking speed to punish the host's inability to take chances.

Not even Henderson's dismissal for two needless yellow cards - for fouls on Issac Success and Etienne Capoue could stop Liverpool unleashing their fine attacking prowess.

The outstanding Robertson was a testament to everything good about Liverpool and his galloping late run was the catalyst for the third goal. The Scotsman came blistering down the left-flank before teeing up Mane whose effort was saved although Firmino was left unmarked to pounce and fire home.

Liverpool dominated the ball for the majority of proceedings - enjoying 69 per cent possession - however, it took more than 50 minutes for the visitors to find to find their rhythm and fathom a noteworthy opportunity.

The hosts almost had a perfect start when Gerard Deulofeu hammered home a fine team goal after two minutes but was correctly ruled offside.

The defeat put further misery on Watford's dismal record against the Reds as the Hornets have now failed to win 11 of their last 12 fixtures against Liverpool, losing 10.

Liverpool ensured they were still within touching distance of City and Chelsea's defeat at Spurs meant that the Reds are beginning to distance themselves from the rest of pack in what is emerging a highly contested two-horse race for the title.