Mohamed Salah scores twice as Liverpool beat Watford 2-0 to extend Premier League lead

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, left, gestures as Watford's goalkeeper Ben Foster makes a save during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield stadium in Liverpool. (AP)
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Updated 14 December 2019

Mohamed Salah scores twice as Liverpool beat Watford 2-0 to extend Premier League lead

  • The win provisionally extended Liverpool’s lead over second-placed Leicester
  • Liverpool’s injury worries deepened when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool kept up their relentless Premier League title charge with a 2-0 win over last-placed Watford on Saturday.

Liverpool looked shaky defensively at times but Salah finished off a lightning counterattack to give the host the lead in the 38th minute at Anfield and then made sure of the victory with a cheeky backheel from a tight angle in injury time.

The win provisionally extended Liverpool’s lead over second-placed Leicester to 11 points ahead the afternoon games, when Brendan Rodgers’ team host Norwich. The Reds have won 16 of 17 league games so far, with one draw.

They entered this game as a massive favorite against the team at the bottom of the standings, but only poor finishing prevented Watford from taking at least a point in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge.

Watford striker Troy Deeney missed a chance from eight yards in the sixth minute when he went with the wrong foot in trying to convert a cross from Ismalia Sarr. Will Hughes then skimmed a shot wide with three teammates in close proximity before both Abdoulaye Doucoure and Sarr had embarrassing mis-kicks in front of goal.

Salah, though, was as clinical as ever with his second double in four days after also netting twice in the Champions League in midweek

Liverpool’s opener came when they broke from a corner, with Sadio Mané playing Salah through one-on-one with Kiko Femenia. The Egypt international cut back onto his right foot before curling a shot up and over Ben Foster and into the far corner.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker then made two good saves early in the second half, one from Sarr and the other from Gerard Deulofeu, while Mané had a goal from a powerful header ruled out after VAR showed that his hip was fractionally offside.

Liverpool’s injury worries deepened when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem, meaning he could miss the upcoming Club World Cup in Qatar.

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk nearly had an embarrassing moment 10 minutes from time when he side-footed a 20-yard back pass past Alisson and could only watch with relief as the ball trickled by the post.

Salah then made the game safe after substitute Divock Origi mishit an attempted shot on target and the ball trickled over to the Egyptian, who used his first touch to backheel it into the net.


Title, not invincible tag, the most important goal for Salah

Updated 18 January 2020

Title, not invincible tag, the most important goal for Salah

LONDON: Mohamed Salah says Liverpool’s focus is solely on ending a 30-year wait to win the Premier League title, rather than doing so by going the whole season unbeaten.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have dropped just 2 points in 21 games to set a new record for Europe’s top five leagues of 61 points from a possible 63 to start the campaign.

That has propelled the European champions into a 14-point lead over title holders Manchester City with a game in hand, but Salah insists the Reds are still taking their title challenge one game at a time ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Anfield on Sunday.

“We don’t think about being unbeaten until the end of the season. If we do that, it would be great, but at the end of the day we just want to win the Premier League. That’s the most important thing,” Salah told Premier League Productions.

“Unbeaten or not, it’s not necessary — we want to win the Premier League.”

Liverpool could move a massive 30 points clear of United with victory on Sunday, but the Red Devils are the only side to take points off them this season after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October.

Salah missed that match through injury and is keen to make up for lost time in the clash between English football’s two most successful sides.

“We need to win, we need to carry on in our way — the way we’ve been doing since the beginning of the season and since last year,” added the Egyptian.

“Of course we know it’s big for the fans, for the city and for us. But at the end of the day, we play the game to win.”