English Premiership

Reds too strong for Watford

2016-05-08 19:49
Joe Allen (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Liverpool moved to within one point of seventh-placed West Ham United after recording a 2-0 victory over Watford at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

The visitors made a strong start to the game, putting Liverpool under some pressure with a series of goal attempts in the opening ten minutes.

However, Odion Ighalo fired a speculative effort over from 35 yards, before Almen Abdi fired over the bar from the centre of the area.

Liverpool hit back with two chances of their own in quick succession, defender Martin Skrtel shooting wide of the right-hand post, before Alberto Moreno fired over from outside the box.

The next chance of note fell to Watford's Ikechi Anya on 25 minutes, but the Scotland international could not find the target from the left-hand side of the danger area.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Christian Benteke, making a rare start for the Merseysiders, headed wide of the right-hand post in the 28th minute as the Reds redoubled their efforts in a bid to break the deadlock.

And they got the breakthrough they were looking for in the 35th minute as Benteke sent a cushioned header into the path of Allen, who duly obliged by  firing into the bottom-right corner.

The Hornets went aginisingly close to drawing level just two minutes later, but Ighalo headed wide when it would have been easier to score.

The Reds created one more chance in the closing stages of the first half, but failed to add to their advantage as Phil Coutinho shot wide of the left-hand post from just outside the box.

Their was peltny more action to come after the half-time break as both sides creating a whole host of goal-scoring chances.

Coutinho fired wide of the right-hand post in the 48th minute, before seeing his goal-bound effort kept out by Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes one minute later.

Watford striker Ighalo was left cursing his luck after seeing his powerful shot denied by Simon Mognolet in the Liverpool goal, while team-mate Adlène Guédioura fired just wide of the right-hand post shortly thereafter.

Liverpool substitute Roberto Firmino went close to doubling his side's lead just one minute after coming on in place of Coutinho, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Almen Abdi and Steven Berghuis failed to make their chances count.

And Watford were made to rue their wastefulness in front of goal as Firmino went on to bag Liverpool's second in the 77th minute. The Brazilian latched onto a pass from Sheyi Ojo before firing a low shot into the bottom-left corner, with Gomes getting a touch but unable to stop the ball from crossing the line.

Firmino's goal sparked a big reaction from the Hornets as they redoubled their efforts in a bid to reduce the defcit.

However, it was more of the same for Watford as efforts from Ighalo and Miguel Britos were lacking in accuracy.

Liverpool, though, quickly regained control of proceedings and very nearly added to theri advantage three minutes from time as Jordan Ibe struck the post from the left-hand side of the six-yard box

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