Mar 17, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,287
Liverpool
5-0
Watford
Salah (4', 43', 77', 85'), Firmino (49')
Gomez (51')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Four-goal Mohamed Salah stars as Liverpool rout Watford

Result: Salah stars as Liverpool rout Watford
© Offside
Mohamed Salah scores four to go clear of Harry Kane in the Premier League Golden Boot race as Liverpool thrash Watford 5-0 at Anfield to regain third in the table.

Mohamed Salah took his Premier League goal tally to 28 for the season with four as Liverpool put Watford to the sword with a 5-0 win at Anfield this evening.

The Egyptian scored a double in each half to move clear of Harry Kane in the Golden Boot race, and also provided the third for Roberto Firmino after the break.

It was an emphatic response to their defeat to Manchester United and moves the Reds to within a point of their rivals in second, leapfrogging Tottenham Hotspur into third.

It took only four minutes for Salah to stamp his authority on the game as he jinked past Miguel Britos and poked a right-footed shot through Oscar Karnezis.

Watford's three-at-the-back formation played into Liverpool's hands as it granted Salah and Sadio Mane space in behind the wing-backs to get at the visiting defence.

The Hornets survived the rest of Liverpool's early salvos without further damage and gradually grew into the game with Roberto Pereyra proving a useful outlet down the right.

The Argentine created Watford's best first-half chance, delivering a deep cross which Richarlison, on a 20-game goal drought, headed straight at Loris Karius.

Liverpool responded by countering ruthlessly and only a strong hand from Karnezis kept out Firmino after James Milner had set free Salah, who in turn released Firmino through the middle.

The hosts did extend their advantage before the break as Andy Robertson exchanged a one-two with Mane and crossed expertly for Salah to tap home at the back post.

Salah turned supplier four minutes after the restart as he intelligently picked out the run of Firmino, who skilfully flicked the ball between his legs and beyond Karnezis.

Watford's best spell came just after conceding their third as Jose Holebas shot into the side-netting from 25 yards and Pereyra whipped a vicous free kick against the crossbar.

It looked as though the Reds had taken their foot off the gas, but Salah, who is in the midst of the most prolific debut season of a Liverpool player, found a second wind to score twice more in the final 12 minutes.

The summer signing from Roma completed his first Liverpool hat-trick with a left-footed prod into the bottom corner, after his rapid changing of direction had seen him wriggle free of three Watford defenders.

Even when he tried to set up substitute Danny Ings with a perfectly-weighted pass around the corner, the ball fell to Salah who turned home the rebound after Karnezis had denied the striker a first goal since 2015.

It is the second successive season in which Liverpool have beaten Watford by a five-goal margin at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL: Karius; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Can (Milner, 27'), Wijnaldum (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 71'); Mane, Salah, Firmino (Ings, 79')

WATFORD: Karnezis; Femenia, Mariappa, Prodl, Britos (Janmaat, 81'), Holebas; Pereyra, Doucoure, Capoue, Richarlison (Hughes, 65'); Deeney (Okaka, 70')

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Hornets manager Javi Gracia gives orders during the FA Cup game between Southampton and Watford on January 27, 2018
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City33283293256887
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd34235665263974
3Liverpool342010478354370
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs34208666313568
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6Arsenal331661162451754
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8Leicester CityLeicester341111124947244
9Everton34119143954-1542
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle33118143542-741
11Bournemouth35911154158-1738
12Watford34107174260-1837
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34812143247-1536
14West Ham UnitedWest Ham33811144159-1835
15Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3498172754-2735
16Crystal Palace34810163654-1834
17Swansea CitySwansea3389162746-1933
18Southampton34514153353-2029
19Stoke CityStoke34610183164-3328
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom34412182752-2524

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