Mohamed Salah scored four as Liverpool swept aside a poor Watford at Anfield on Saturday evening. Roberto Firmino scored the other goal in what was a fabulous display from the Reds, with Salah back to his devastating best at Anfield.
In blizzard-like conditions at Anfield, it took the Reds four minutes to take the lead, courtesy of Salah's 25th league goal of the season.
25 - Mohamed Salah has scored 25 Premier League goals this season, only one African player has netted more in a single campaign (Didier Drogba 29 in 2009-10). King. pic.twitter.com/4Eues5NZrA— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 17, 2018
Liverpool controlled the remainder of the half by means of possession, but only had a Firmino effort that was smartly saved by Karnezis to show after the early breakthrough. Watford meanwhile looked off the pace for large parts of the game, with a Richarlison header routinely dealt with by Loris Karius in their only effort in the half.
With the visitors appearing to accept going into the break a goal down, Jurgen Klopp's side produced a lovely move that culminated in Liverpool and Salah's second of the game. Mane found Andrew Robertson down the left, with the Scot delivering an inviting low cross that was simply finished by Salah, allowing them to go into half time with a deserved 2-0 lead.
Salah's double gives us the lead at the break.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 17, 2018
So far so good. pic.twitter.com/jeHfxK8S5q
The start to the second period mirrored that of the first, although this time Salah turned provider for Liverpool's third of the game in the 49th minute. He had the beating of Britos again, before picking out Firmino in the penalty area. The Brazilian dispatched the cross with a delicate flick past Karnezis to put the Reds in a commanding position.
With the game seemingly beyond them, Watford finally showed some fight after conceding the third, going close with a long range Jose Holebas strike, while Roberto Pereyra's audacious free kick clipped the crossbar for Javi Gracia's side.
Klopp's side continued to press forward despite their lead, looking to attack at every opportunity, with their caveliar attitude rewarded by a fourth goal, and Salah's first hat-trick in a Liverpool shirt.
Mane again the provider, driving into Watford's box before laying off Salah. Liverpool's top scorer was patient, twisting and turning before finding a yard of space to poke the ball home in front of the Kop End.
Mohamed Salah is the first Liverpool player to score a Premier League hat-trick under Jürgen Klopp.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2018
The new King of Anfield. pic.twitter.com/XqBLxP6nh1
After substitute Danny Ings went close with a pair of efforts, Salah soon had his fourth and Liverpool's fifth, pouncing on the rebound following Ings' second effort to lash the ball home from close range.
That proved to be the final action in the game, as a dominant Liverpool side put in an impressive display against a sorry Watford side and move up to third in the table.
| #watfordfc line-up v @LFC | Karnezis (GK); Femenía, Mariappa, Prödl, Britos, Holebas; Pereyra, Doucouré, Capoue, Richarlison; Deeney (C).— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) March 17, 2018
Subs | Gomes (GK), Janmaat, Cathcart, Hughes, Carrillo, Gray, Okaka.#LIVWAT pic.twitter.com/CV1niXyLjC