Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool ease past Watford as Jurgen Klopp rescinds fans' invite to Europa League final

Liverpool 2 - Watford 0

By Carl Markham

Liverpool have their eyes on a much bigger prize but stayed sharp enough to complete a routine 2-0 victory over Watford in the Barclays Premier League on a day when manager Jurgen Klopp has rescinded his invitation for all fans to travel to Basel for the Europa League final after admitting it was "not too smart".

The Europa League final on May 18 looms over everything at Anfield despite Klopp's insistence that they must continue to focus on finishing their domestic season.

Once Liverpool withstood the energy of Watford's early attacking intent, with Odion Ighalo threatening on three occasions, there was little threat offered by the Hornets.

The breakthrough came in the 35th minute when Kevin Stewart tapped a quickly-taken free-kick to Philippe Coutinho and the Brazilian lofted a pass onto the head of Benteke who knocked it down into the path of the on-rushing Allen to slide home.

The victory was confirmed when Firmino, on as a substitute on the hour, picked up a loose ball from Sheyi Ojo's block, advanced unchallenged and unleashed a shot to which Heurelho Gomes got a hand but could not keep out.

It was not all plain sailing for Klopp, who has asked Liverpool fans without tickets to the Europa League final to stay away. On Friday at his press conference the German said "it is even worth going there without having a ticket for the game to be around the stadium".

However, after the match he said: "Last time I spoke about Basel I spoke like a supporter and I invited all Liverpool fans to Basel. That was not too smart to be honest. I have to take back the invitation to Basel.

"Please only people with tickets go there because everything else will be chaos."

Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Skrtel, Lucas, Moreno (Randall 88), Allen, Stewart, Ojo (Brannagan 78), Ibe, Coutinho (Firmino 61), Benteke.

Subs Not Used: Toure, Sturridge, Bogdan,Chirivella.

Booked: Flanagan.

Goals: Allen 35, Firmino 76.

Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Anya, Abdi (Amrabat 69), Mario Suarez (Guedioura 53), Watson, Jurado (Berghuis 57), Ighalo, Deeney.

Subs Not Used: Nyom, Paredes, Ake, Pantilimon.

Booked: Britos, Berghuis.

Attedance: 43,341

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).


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