English Premiership

Klopp happy to win ugly as Salah punishes wasteful Watford

2019-12-14 17:53
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (AFP)

Liverpool - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed his side's resilience to keep winning during a draining December schedule as Mohamed Salah's double beat bottom-of-the-table Watford 2-0 at Anfield to open up an 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Hornets remain six points adrift of safety, but will wonder how they headed home empty handed after enjoying the vast majority of the chances against the European champions.

Salah produced the two moments of real quality from Klopp's men by finishing off a rapid counter-attack from a Watford corner to open the scoring before flicking home a second a minute from time.

"It's true, it was not the prettiest game, but I am more than happy with that," said Klopp. "At this stage you have to show resilience and I believe we did that today."

Liverpool are now seven games into a run of 15 matches in 50 days across five competitions and the strain on Klopp's squad was obvious in a jaded display.

Nigel Pearson was taking charge of Watford for the first time and the impetus of a new manager showed with the 40-point difference between the sides at opposite ends of the table not in evidence in their performances.

However, the big difference was obvious in both boxes as the league's lowest scorers passed up a host of huge opportunities, whilst Salah was deadly.

"We created some excellent chances and unfortunately today we could not make the most of them," said Pearson.

"That performance, as an identity moving forward, I think will serve us very well indeed because we've got a huge fight on our hands."

Only Watford's profligacy allowed Liverpool to keep a first clean sheet at Anfield.

Abdoulaye Doucoure missed the first golden chance when completely miscued with the goal at his mercy from Etienne Capoue's clever cut-back with what incredibly was only the second most embarrassing mishit of the half from Watford.

The visitors were made to pay by the ruthless runaway leaders as 15 seconds after a Watford corner, the ball was in their net.

All three of Liverpool's attacking trident were involved as Roberto Firmino's pass over his head freed Sadio Mane down the left. He fed Salah who cut inside on his weaker right foot to bend the ball brilliantly into the far corner.

Watford should still have been level before the break when Ismaila Sarr somehow also failed to connect with Alisson Becker grounded after parrying Gerard Deulofeu's cross.

Sarr was wasteful again at the start to the second half as he blasted straight at Alisson with Deeney pleading for a cross.

Liverpool's extra quality in the final third was in evidence once more when Mane headed in from Xherdan Shaqiri's cross, but the Senegalese's celebrations were cut short when the goal was ruled out by a VAR review for the most marginal of offside calls.

That handed Pearson's men a lifeline, but again they failed to take their chance to capitalise when Deulofeu broke clean through on goal only for Alisson to save once more.

"Ali was there and that is why we have 11 players not only 10," added Klopp.

Georginio Wijnaldum limped off on the hour mark and could now be a doubt for the Reds' attempt to win the Club World Cup in Qatar later this week.

However, Liverpool will travel to the Middle East in buoyant mood even if Leicester manage to cut their double-digit lead back to eight points when the Foxes host Norwich later on Saturday.

Salah made sure of the points late on with an imaginative finish to turn home Divock Origi's mishit shot.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Saturday, 01 February 2020
Leicester City v Chelsea, King Power Stadium 14:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion, London Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Sheffield United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Newcastle United v Norwich City, St. James' Park 17:00
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 19:30
Sunday, 02 February 2020
Burnley v Arsenal, Turf Moor 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 18:30
Saturday, 08 February 2020
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 14:30
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford, The American Express Community Stadium 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.