Success on parade as L'Pool hit Watford for maximum points

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Success on parade as Watford fall at home with to Liverpool

Nigeria's Isaac Success bagged a second half appearance for Watford in Monday's Premier League clash against Liverpool but could do nothing as the Hornets fell 1-0 at home to Jurgen Klopp's Champions League hopefuls.

Emre Can's first half added time overhead kick off a Lucas' chipped ball into the centre of the box proved vital as the Reds held on to the lone goal lead in the second period to secure maximum points and boost their chances of finishing in top four.

Liverpool matchwinner Emre Can on his goal at Watford

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri brought on Success for Etienne Capoue in the final 17 minutes but the Nigerian who was making his 19th league appearance for the Hornets failed to find his way past the visitors' backline to deliver the much-needed equaliser.

SETTING THE SCENE

Liverpool named an unchanged line-up for Monday's clash at Watford as Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge returned to the bench.

The Reds selected the same XI for a third successive game, having also been deployed against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion.

However, the matchday squad was bolstered by the presence of Lallana and Sturridge among the substitutes.

Watford coach Walter made just one change from the Hornets side that fell to Hull City in their last Premier League outing.

José Holebas had a knock, so Adrian Mariappa came back into the starting XI which meant a return to 3-5-2 for Watford, with M'Baye Niang doing a job at left wing-back. Nigeria's Isaac Success was named on the bench.

FIRST HALF

With Sunday’s results involving the other teams in top-four contention all going in Liverpool’s favour, they kicked off at Vicarage Road knowing how valuable acquiring three points could prove in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.

However, they were dealt an early blow when Philippe Coutinho sustained an early knock to his thigh in a challenge on the edge of the opponent’s penalty area. His attempts to play on after receiving treatment proved unsuccessful as he struggled to recover, meaning he was replaced by Lallana after just 13 minutes.

Watford also suffered an injury setback soon after, with Miguel Britos limping off, meaning the contest was unable to form any kind of pattern in the opening exchanges as both sides were required to reshuffle.

However, Can forced Heurelho Gomes into a flying stop with a low left-footed blast from range as the Reds attempted to assert themselves.

Still, the game was far from being laden with chances – until Lallana almost found the net with a sensational effort four minutes before the break.

Pouncing on Gomes’ punched clearance from a corner, the playmaker struck a crisp first-time volley back towards the target from 25 yards, which crashed against the underside of the crossbar and away from goal, with Divock Origi unable to reach the rebound.

And with that, the game appeared to be heading towards a goalless stalemate at the break, but Can had other ideas as he broke the deadlock in quite sensational fashion.

Lucas’s lofted ball into the area picked out the German’s run and in turn, he found the back of the net with a scissor-kick that arched over Gomes and sailed into the top corner, giving the visitors a one-goal lead at the interval.

SECOND HALF

Liverpool crafted another goalscoring opportunity moments after the restart when a James Milner free-kick from the left corner of the area was parried to safety by Gomes. Next, Origi cut in from wide and drilled one that required another stop from Watford’s custodian.

Then, on 56 minutes, Joel Matip’s clever ball from deep released Origi speeding into the box but his low drive was repelled by Gomes.

By now, the Reds were in total control; however, Watford served up a reminder that the contest was far from over when Nordin Amrabat cracked an effort against Dejan Lovren inside the box before Etienne Capoue’s follow up needing Simon Mignolet to push it over the crossbar.

But it was a passage of play that was enough to afford some encouragement to the hosts and their crowd inside Vicarage Road – although that enthusiasm could have been quashed had Lallana been able to control Can’s pass at the conclusion of a counter-attack, but the ball was a touch too far in front of him inside the area.

With the game edging towards its conclusion, Jürgen Klopp elected to bring on Sturridge and then Klavan in place of Origi and Lallana.

And while Watford continued to toil in search of an equaliser, Liverpool fostered efforts via Matip and Sturridge that needed the intervention of Gomes to keep them out.

However, there was almost heartbreak when, in the 94th minute, the ball broke invitingly for Prodl eight yards out, but his powerful whack smacked against the crossbar and flew to safety.

Nevertheless, the Reds held on to their advantage – one that with just three games to go in 2016-17, leaves them well placed to book a place in next season’s Champions League.
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