Liverpool 5-0 Watford: Mohamed Salah scores four as Reds go third
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 18/03/18 7:28am
Mohamed Salah continued his superb season by scoring four times as Liverpool thrashed Watford 5-0 at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday.
Salah struck twice in the first half and then twice again late in the game to secure his first Liverpool hat-trick and take his tally to 36 for the season in all competitions.
That is the best haul in a debut season by a Liverpool player while he also chipped in with an assist shortly after half-time when he set up Roberto Firmino for a flicked finish.
Liverpool: Karius (6), Gomez (7), Van Dijk (7), Matip (7), Robertson (7), Wijnaldum (7), Henderson (7), Can (5), Mane (7), Salah (10), Firmino (8)
Subs: Milner (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Ings (6)
Watford: Karnezis (4), Holebas (4), Prodl (4), Britos (3), Mariappa (4), Doucoure (4), Capoue (4), Pereyra (5), Femenia (4), Richarlison (4), Deeney (4)
Subs: Hughes (5), Okaka (5), Janmaat (5)
Man of the match: Mohamed Salah
Watford offered little in response as their poor away form under Javi Gracia continued.
The Hornets are yet to even score on the road since Gracia took over in January, and they were given a masterclass in finishing from Salah as Liverpool bounced back from their defeat at Manchester United in style.
In snowy conditions, the Reds enjoyed the perfect start as Salah, who is now four clear in the Premier League golden boot race with 28 goals, sat down Miguel Britos in the box and then fired a low shot past Orestis Karnezis in the fourth minute.
Watford defended deep in the opening half an hour and were only eventually given impetus by a few slack passes from Liverpool, who had otherwise looked comfortable.
However, after Richarlison headed at Loris Karius, the Reds doubled their lead as Andy Robertson's perfectly-placed cross was finished by Salah from 10 yards out in the 43rd minute.
Salah then set up Firmino to cleverly flick in for 3-0 after half-time.
Roberto Pereyra hit the bar for Watford from a free-kick shortly afterwards, but that was a rare positive moment for the visitors, who crumbled late on.
Salah twisted and turned in the box in the 77th minute before finishing for his hat-trick and then fired in a fourth in the 85th minute after Danny Ings' shot was spilled by Karnezis.
Liverpool made four changes from their defeat at Manchester United as Gomez, Matip, Wijnaldum and Henderson replaced Milner, Alexander-Arnold, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lovren, who missed out with an ankle injury.
Britos replaced Janmaat for Watford.
- This was Jurgen Klopp's 50th Premier League home game in charge of Liverpool (W28 D18 L4). The Reds have averaged 2.20 goals per game since Klopp took over - their highest goals per game ratio at Anfield in the competition under any manager.
- Salah has scored 28 Premier League goals this season, only one African player has netted more in a single campaign (Didier Drogba 29 in 2009-10).
- Salah is the first Egyptian player to score a Premier League hat-trick, with Egypt the 43rd nation overall and the 10th African country to provide a hat-trick scorer in the competition.
- Salah scored four goals from his four shots - the first player to do so in the Premier League since Andrey Arshavin in April 2009, also at Anfield.
- Roberto Firmino (3 assists) and Mo Salah (4 assists) have combined for seven goals in the Premier League this season - the joint-most by any duo, level with Sadio Mane (6 assists) and Mo Salah (1 assist).
- Watford are winless in their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L8), scoring just twice in that run and failing to find the net in each of the last five.
Man of the match - Mohamed Salah
A simply wonderful individual display, from the skill for the opening goal that took him past Britos to the jinking back and forth away from several defenders for the third goal.
He's now four clear at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 28 goals and although the season is nearing the end, isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
Liverpool are next in action on Saturday, March 31 when they travel to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports. They then host Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, April 4.
Watford are at home against Bournemouth on Saturday, March 31.