Ruth­less Liver­pool crush Wat­ford to take top spot

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LIVER­POOL: Liver­pool charged to the top of the Premier League ta­ble for the first time since May 2014 by beat­ing Wat­ford 6-1 yes­ter­day.

Sa­dio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can all scored in the space of 16 first-half min­utes at An­field. Roberto Firmino, Mane and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum added fur­ther goals in the sec­ond half.

Al­though Daryl Jan­maat’s con­so­la­tion de­nied Liver­pool a clean sheet, the club is on the right path to chal­lenge for its first ti­tle since 1990, hav­ing been pipped at the post in 2014.

Liver­pool, which has now scored four or more goals in five league matches this sea­son, is a point in front of Chelsea and two ahead of Manch­ester City and Ar­se­nal. “We are still early in our de­vel­op­ment and there are a lot of things we can im­prove,” Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp said.

News of Ar­se­nal’s lunchtime draw with Tot­ten­ham brought cheers from the An­field crowd be­fore kick­off as they knew a home vic­tory would guar­an­tee top spot.

Some early mis­placed passes may have been due to nerves given what was at stake but the hosts took the lead in the 27th minute and never looked back. Coutinho whipped in a cross that Mane reached ahead of Daryl Jan­maat to steer a flicked header beyond Heurelho Gomes.

Coutinho was on tar­get him­self on the halfhour. Liver­pool went from right to left and Firmino fed Coutinho, who side-stepped Jan­maat and drilled an at­tempt be­tween Younes Kaboul’s legs and past Gomes.

The Wat­ford ‘keeper in­jured him­self try­ing to make the save so Cos­tel Pan­til­imon came on to try and stop the rout that was un­fold­ing. Pan­til­imon could only watch as Adam Lal­lana’s 43rd-minute cross was nod­ded in by Can, one of four Liver­pool play­ers in the box await­ing the de­liv­ery.

The sec­ond half fol­lowed a sim­i­lar pat­tern as Liver­pool in­creased its lead and the fourth goal again stemmed from a set piece.

Coutinho’s free kick came to Jor­dan Hen­der­son out on the left and he played in Lal­lana to cross for Firmino, who was left with the sim­ple task of ap­ply­ing the fin­ish in front of goal.

Some bril­liant work from Firmino led to the fifth. He chased down Hen­der­son’s pass into the box and beat Jose Hole­bas to the ball, then held it up long enough to spot Mane’s run. The Sene­galese was the grate­ful re­cip­i­ent of Firmino’s as­sist.

Wi­j­nal­dum com­pleted the rout in stop­page time af­ter fel­low sub­sti­tute Daniel Stur­ridge, who was twice de­nied by the cross­bar, had an ef­fort

— AFP

LIVER­POOL: Liver­pool’s Brazil­ian mid­fielder Philippe Coutinho at­tempts a shot at goal dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Liver­pool and Wat­ford at An­field in Liver­pool, north west Eng­land yes­ter­day.

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