Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool overcame Watford at the Vicarage Road Stadium when Emre Can scored a ‘goal of the season’ contender in first half injury time on Monday night. The victory helped Liverpool gain the three vital points and capitalize on the top 4 spot as Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all failed to register wins during their fixtures.
The Reds fans were a slight worried when they saw Philippe Coutinho limp off the pitch despite his best efforts to continue after a challenge from Watford centre-back Sebastian Prodl and he was subbed off for Adam Lallana who made his first appearance since March following a thigh injury.
Miguel Brittos also walked off the pitch for Watford and he was replaced by Christian Kabasele. Liverpool looked the more dominant of the two teams as they were holding onto possession but there was not much to separate the sides until Adam Lallana saw his extremely well-hit left footed volley hit the under-side of the crossbar and stay out.
However, Liverpool were not to be denied by Emre Can’s spectacular moment of brilliance. Lucas Leiva chipped a lofted pass into the area and Can’s acrobatic effort was on cue as he struck a wonderful overhead kick to give Liverpool a much needed goal before half-time.
Heurelho Gomes was the busier of the two keepers as he then kept out James Milner’s effort from a free-kick and Divock Origi’s shot from almost the similar position. Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet did not have much to do until tipping over Etienne Capoue’s long range drive. Origi was once again wasteful with a one on one opportunity as was Joel Matip who strode forward on a few occasions and he was later replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
Lallana probably would have done better with Can’s through pass but failed to sort out his feet quickly enough and Sturridge brought Gomes into action with a fine run but the Brazilian keeper got down low superbly. It wasn’t all over though, Prodl almost snatched a late equalizer as his shot crashed off the crossbar in injury time in the second period leaving the visitors with a huge sigh of relief.
The game was proof that the Merseyside outfit has grown from strength to strength over the past few months and should now possibly end up in the top four.
They currently have 69 points, with three games left to play this term, while the clubs below them might be having the same number of matches, if not one or two more.
It will be an interesting race, though the Reds need to keep winning the next few games. The next one will be a tough fixture, as they face off against Southampton.
The one advantage that they will have is that, it will be at Anfield and hopefully the home crowd can cheer them on for a win.
A win on Sunday would be huge, prior to Arsenal’s clash against Manchester United at the Emirates, which might help get a clear picture about the battle for places in the points table.