It was a fest of goals at Vicarage Road in the early kickoff on Saturday, as Liverpool mercilessly put five unreplied goals past Watford in what was Claudio Ranieri's first game in charge of his new team.


A hatrick from Roberto Firmino, sandwiched by goals from Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah ensured the three points for Liverpool.

The former Leicester City boss made three changes to the team that lost in Watford's last game before the international break, with his counterpart, Jurgen Klopp forced into two of the three changes he made.

First choice goalkeeper, Alisson Becker and Fabinho were unavailable due to their late involvement with Brazilian during the last international break. The two players have traveled directly to Spain to complete their quarantine routine ahead of their team's Champions League meeting with Atletico in midweek. Alisson was replaced by young goalkeeper, Caoimhin Kelleher, while Naby Keita came in for Fabinho.

Mohammed Salah, who has been in red hot form this season took no time to show his stuff as he almost put his team ahead in the first two minutes. Latching onto a cross, his effort cannoned off the crossbar before Watford could clear.

Six minutes later, he would turn provider for Sadio Mane to open the scoring. A ball into the middle by Ben Foster was won by Liverpool, with Salah playing a neat ball through on goal for Mane, who slotted home for the first of the afternoon.

Salah was looking to continue his impressive scoring run and almost made good of that in the 12th minute, but his effort towards the far post was well matched with a good save by Foster to allow his defence scrap away for a corner.

It was a show being run by the Egyptian marksman and in the 19th minute, he forced a low save off Foster, after meeting an slide-cross from Trent Alexander Arnold as Liverpool looked to counter Watford.

Once again, Salah had his role to play as Liverpool doubled their lead with 8 minutes of the first interval to play. A nice ball by Mane to release the overlapping James Milner on the left side. The Englishman sending the ball across goal, with Salah making a dummy run, which allowed Roberto Firmino tap in for Liverpool's second.

The visitors were running the show and were clearly the better side. They should have gone three goals up just before the end of the first half when Keita's effort came off the crossbar. The second time they were hitting the woodwork in the game.

Salah was desperate to find the back of the net and he picked up from where he stopped after the restart, again forcing a wonderful save from Foster just four minutes in.

Firmino was so lucky on the afternoon as he was popping up at the right places and he scored his second with another tap in in the 52nd minute. As Liverpool countered, Andy Robertson saw his cross blocked by Craig Cathcart, who almost conceded an own goal but his blushes were saved by Forster. Unfortunately, the ball fell to Firmino, who tapped in the rebound.

The Hornets were clearly playing second fiddle as they were totally outclassed by their visitors in what was already looking like a disappointing outing for them.


Finally, just two minutes after Firmino's second goal, Salah got his name on the scoresheet. Firmino finding the Egyptian fox in the box, who beat about three Watford defenders, before finding the far bottom corner for his 7th league goal of the season.

The hosts best chances came in the closing stages, but would have not counted nonetheless, as Ismaila Sarr's effort was tipped against the bar by Kelleher, with the flag finally going up for offside in the build-up.

A player may dream of scoring a hatrick, but none would have dreamt of doing so in the fashion in which Firmino did, as he completed his hatrick with yet another tap in with almost the last kick of the game, when a ball across the face of goal from Neco Williams who had just come in for Milner was met by the Brazilian unmarked at the far post for another tap in.

Concluding Thoughts

Another impressive outing for Jurgen Klopp's men as they continue their quest to reclaim the premier league title from Manchester City.

It was their 18th game unbeaten with 13 wins and 4 draws since March 2021 and have now scored at least, 3 goals in seven consecutive away matches, a feat no other premier league team has achieved.

Mohammed Salah is definitely leading that charge and would be sorely missed when he travels to Cameroon for the African Cup of Nation's in January next year.

A sad beginning for Claudio Ranieri. If he had his way, he would never have chosen Liverpool as his first opponent on a new job.

This was also his biggest defeat in his managerial career and would understand that he has alot on his plate if he is to save the Hornets from the drop, a job he was brought in to do. His team making about just a quarter of the total number of passes Liverpool made.