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Liverpool v Watford - Story of the match

Published 06/11/2016

Philippe Coutinho, left, and Roberto Firmino were both in the goals
Philippe Coutinho, left, and Roberto Firmino were both in the goals

Liverpool stormed to the top of the Premier League table for the first time since May 2014 courtesy of a 6-1 Anfield annihilation of Watford.

The Reds were last at the summit in the latter stages of the title race three seasons ago, when an irrepressible attack looked set to deliver a long-awaited league championship on Merseyside only for defensive fragilities to rob them of silverware.

Jurgen Klopp's current team have all the forward flair of that Brendan Rodgers team, with Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can all scoring in the space of 16 first-half minutes here, and Roberto Firmino, Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum adding further goals after the interval.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Liverpool breathtaking, thought Chelsea was awesome yesterday but that's equally as good" - former Reds midfielder Didi Hamann ‏(@DietmarHamann) felt Liverpool delivered the perfect response to Chelsea's 5-0 win over Everton.

STAR MAN

Coutinho. In truth Firmino, Adam Lallana and two-goal forward Mane would all have been worthy of any man-of-the-match accolade but it is the Reds' diminutive playmaker who looks a shade above everyone else at the moment, not only in his team, but perhaps in the entire league. Coutinho's close control, low centre of gravity and brilliant long-range shooting were all showcased in his goal while his perfectly flighted cross got the header it deserved from Mane for the opener.

CHANT OF THE MATCH

Midway through the second half, as The Kop savoured a five-goal advantage and salivated over their current forward options, a few supporters made a tongue-in-cheek reference to how ex-Reds striker Luis Suarez would "be on our bench" should he be on their books now.

STAT OF THE MATCH

A 3-0 loss at Vicarage Road last December remains the heaviest defeat of the Klopp reign. Fast forward 11 months and this defeat, for a team who had not conceded in three previous games, represented the heaviest loss of the Walter Mazzarri era. Seven of Liverpool's team played in that fixture back in December but Klopp has completely transformed his side.

RATINGS

Liverpool

Loris Karius 7

Nathaniel Clyne 6

Joel Matip 7

Lucas 7

James Milner 8

Jordan Henderson 8

Emre Can 7

Philippe Coutinho 9

Sadio Mane 8

Adam Lallana 8

Roberto Firmino 8

Substitutes

Georginio Wijnaldum (on for Mane) 7

Daniel Sturridge (on for Lallana) 7

Ovie Ejaria (on for Coutinho) 6

Watford

Heurelho Gomes 6

Daryl Janmaat 5

Younes Kaboul 6

Miguel Britos 6

Jose Holebas 5

Nordin Amrabat 6

Valon Behrami 6

Etienne Capoue 6

Roberto Pereyra 5

Troy Deeney 6

Odion Ighalo 5

Substitutes

Costel Pantilimon (on for Gomes) 6

Ben Watson (on for Behrami) 6

Camilo Zuniga (on for Pereyra) 6

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Southampton v Liverpool (November 19, Premier League)

Watford v Leicester (November 19, Premier League)

Press Association

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