Football: Stylish Reds blow away Hornets to take EPL lead

Watford's Nordin Amrabat (right) in action with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain on Nov 6, 2016.
Watford's Nordin Amrabat (right) in action with Liverpool's Jordan Henderson during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain on Nov 6, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool 6

Watford 1

LONDON • Liverpool swept to the top of the Premier League table, as Sadio Mane's double inspired a 6-1 rout of Watford yesterday.

Jurgen Klopp's side have emerged as genuine title contenders and they moved one point clear of Chelsea thanks to a scintillating goal spree at Anfield.

The Reds took the lead in the 27th minute, when Senegal winger Mane met Philippe Coutinho's corner with a header that looped past Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Just three minutes later, Roberto Firmino picked out Coutinho on the edge of the penalty area and the forward fired home with a fine low strike. Klopp's team were three up two minutes before half-time, as Emre Can arrived unmarked at the far post to head in Adam Lallana's cross.

The goals kept coming and Firmino added the fourth in the 57th minute, the Brazilian finishing off Lallana's cross, before Mane got his second in the 60th minute with a clinical close-range effort from Firmino's pass.

Daryl Janmaat notched his first goal for Watford in the 75th minute, but there was still time for Liverpool to complete the demolition in the 90th minute through Georginio Wijnaldum's tap-in.

Liverpool have won seven of their last eight league games and go into the international break with growing belief that they can win the club's first English league title since 1990.

It is almost a year to the day since Klopp stared in disbelief at Liverpool fans streaming out of Anfield before the end of a defeat by Crystal Palace. No one quits early any more.

With his side turning on the style on a weekly basis, these are the days for Liverpool to savour.

Doubts do surround the side's defensive ability at set pieces but there was not a soul inside Anfield who would complain at getting first place and one intense attacking display after another in exchange.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Stylish Reds blow away Hornets to take EPL lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe