Watford 0-1 Liverpool: Premier League as it happened

Rhod Cannon

Watford 0-1 Liverpool

  • Liverpool capitalise on rivals dropping points with victory over Watford.
  • Emre Can's sublime overhead kick illuminated a drab affair.
  • Watford rarely threatened and cannot complain with the loss.
  • Liverpool did lose Philippe Coutinho to injury after just 12 minutes.
Emre Can

Full-time: Watford 0-1 Liverpool

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A drab affair at Vicarage Road but a vital three points for Liverpool. Emre Can's moment of magic briefly illuminated proceedings, but the game was bereft of quality.

Watford rarely threatened and have Heurelho Gomes to thank for keeping the scoreline at 0-1. Mazzarri's men have nothing to fight for, and played like it today.

Don't miss: Philippe Coutinho allays injury fears after Liverpool's win over Watford

For Liverpool, the victory helps bolster their Champions League hopes, though they will be concerned by the injury sustained by Philippe Coutinho.

That's all from IB Times UK this evening.

Most popular: Watford 0-1 Liverpool: Premier League as it happened

Wonderful play from Sturridge sees him beat three defenders and unleash an effort from range. Gomes, who has made a number of saves already, just manages to tip the shot past the post.

We're into four minutes of added time.

Klopp makes his final change as Lallana, who came on for Coutinho, is replaced by Klavan.

The Reds are in the ascendancy and look comfortable heading into stoppage time. Matip almost makes the points safe for his side but his close-range effort is dealt with by Gomes, who has been excellent this evening.

Origi is replaced by Sturridge for Liverpool as Okaka comes on for Amrabat for Watford. Mazzarri has made all three changes now.

Can Watford salvage a point, they have improved on their first half showing but are running out of time.

Liverpool set to make another change with Daniel Sturridge preparing to come on.

Watford are enjoying their best spell of the game but Liverpool almost make it 2-0 with a counterattack. Can bursts down the right and feeds Lallana, who fails to take the ball in his stride and spurns what looked an excellent opportunity to kill the game off. Just over 10 minutes left.

Capoue, who had just been booked for dissent, is withdrawn for Success.

Mazzarri ready to roll the dice with Isaac Success stripped and ready. Watford seem to be coming into the game more and are pinning Liverpool back a touch. 20 minutes to go, still 0-1.

Watford finally test Mignolet as Capoue's drive forces the Belgian into action. He tips the ball over but only a goal kick is awarded, and Capoue receives a yellow for arguing his case for a corner with the referee.

The game has entered a lull after some bright work from Liverpool. Watford are offering very little and have the look of a team who have virtually nothing to play for. The atmosphere inside Vicarage Road is as flat as anything, but Liverpool won't mind one bit if they come away with three points.

Origi fashions another chance after latching on to a stunning ball from defence but once again he is foiled by Gomes. The Belgian could well have killed this game off for Liverpool already, will Klopp and co live to rue his profligacy?

Gomes called into action once again as he palms behind a curled effort from Origi. Strong work from the Belgian, but the Brazilian was more than equal to it.

Watford are offering absolutely nothing going forward. Deeney and Niang have showed glimpses - and I mean glimpses - of quality but have been incredibly ineffective. Liverpool are comfortable.

Prodl sees yellow at the beginning of the second half after a really clumsy trip on Firmino on the edge of the Watford box. The defender has been skirting with trouble for the whole match with a number of niggly fouls.

Gomes punches away Milner's drive.

Back under way at Vicarage Road. Hopefully Can's strike is a catalyst for a change in quality.

Indeed.

A drab affair at Vicarage Road, lit up by Can's phenomenal effort.

Emre Can

Half-time: Watford 0-1 Liverpool

A half that began with Coutinho picking up an injury and ended with Can's spectacular overhead kick. Neither team deserves to lead, it's been a truly dreadful match so far, illuminated briefly by Can's wondrous strike.

Anything but more of the same, please.

In a game bereft of quality, that was quite sublime from Can.

The German executes a perfect overhead kick that gives Gomes no chance and Liverpool the lead. Truly magical from Can.

GOAL! Watford 0-1 Liverpool (Can)

Firmino commits a foul throw. Great advert for the Premier League, this.

Lucas tries to win a penalty but the referee instead books him for simulation. Pathetic from Lucas, and his manager can only laugh at his melodramatic tumble.

Waves for a Liverpool penalty waved away. Can was looking for a spot kick, minimal contact on the German.

Lallana delivers the best moment of the match with a sublime volley that rattles the Watford crossbar. What a goal that would have been, stunning technique from the England international.

Niang wins Watford a corner, which comes to nothing. Liverpool try to counter, but their 'attack' comes to nothing.

Nothing is happening. Wish I was watching the snooker, dreadful stuff on show at Vicarage Road.

Origi surges into the area and looks to pick out the onrushing Lallana, but his cross is smothered well by Gomes. The Brazilian has been much busier than Mignolet, but is yet to be truly tested.

Worrying signs for the Reds with Coutinho's thigh bandaged up. The Brazilian looked in real discomfort as he walked off.

Philippe Coutinho

Clyne is tripped by Cleverley, who contests the decision to give a foul. Milner's delivery is cleared but his second attempt is nodded down by Lovren. Origin can't latch on to the knock down, though, and Watford clear. This game is drab.

Lallana and Milner combine down the left but the latter's cross finds nobody in red. Lallana then pops up on the right and finds Can, who stings the palms of Gomes with a low drive. Better from Liverpool.

Another injury concern, this time for Watford.

Britos is receiving treatment after sustaining a knock and will be replaced by Christian Kabasele.

Neat build-up ends with Deeney firing from distance but the forward's effort is wild and never troubling Mignolet. Great work from Amrabat to drag the Hornets up the pitch but it ultimately comes to nothing.

Lallana's first involvement is to deliver a teasing ball into the area that nobody could get on the end of.

Firming picked up the scraps and surged past Mariappa, but the Brazilian was met well by his compatriot Gomes.

Coutinho's race is run. The playmaker is replaced by Lallana, who has just returned from injury of course. 12 minutes gone, still 0-0.

No real chances for either team yet, the Coutinho knock has taken any sort of flow out of the game. The Brazilian is back on the pitch, but is hobbling severely.

Coutinho is back on his feet but is struggling to walk. Could Adam Lallana be thrust into the action sooner than Klopp had hoped?

Coutinho is down in some discomfort after being caught high on the knee by Mariappa. The Brazilian is receiving treatment from the Liverpool physio.

Prodl gives away the first foul of the evening as he brings Origi down cynically. Coutinho takes the free-kick and finds Can, but the German international can't make anything of it.

Troy Deeney gets things under way at Vicarage Road.

Harry the Hornet is in good spirits as he 'entertains' the crowd. The real show is just minutes away.

Watford

The teams are in the tunnel, kick off just moments away.

The Reds are ready.

Less than 20 minutes to go now. A reminder of the team news:

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Prödl, Britos; Janmaat, Cleverley, Doucouré, Capoue, Amrabat; Deeney (c), Niang.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Lucas, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Firmino, Origi.

The Reds will be buoyed by their rivals dropping points on the weekend, but Jurgen Klopp knows his team must fight if they are to capitalise on the mistakes of others and bolster their Champions League hopes.

"We have to fight for what we can fight for and that's a Champions League place."

Jurgen Klopp

The Hornets don't seem to enjoy playing against Liverpool...

Heurelho Gomes has not conceded at Vicarage Road for more than four-and-a-half hours. Can the Brazilian keep that impressive run going, on his 100th successive league start for Watford?

Heurelho Gomes

They may have little to play for, but Walter Mazzarri is expecting Watford to turn in a much-improved performance after slumping to defeat against 10-man Hull last time out.

"Tonight for me it's very important to see a performance. I'm not happy with what happened at Hull." Mazzarri said. Will his players deliver?

Walter Mazzarri

The Reds are happy to have their men back from injury.

A tremendous achievement for an excellent professional. Liverpool will hope Milner can mark the occasion with a goal; he has never lost a game he has scored in.

Just the one change for Watford, with Adrian Mariappa replacing Jose Holebas.

Liverpool make no changes to the side that were beaten at home by Crystal Palace, but Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana are fit enough for the bench.

Watford

SUBSTITUTES

Watford: Pantilimon, Kabasele, Eleftheriou, Zúñiga, Behrami, Success, Okaka.

Liverpool: Karius, Moreno, Grujic, Sturridge, Alexander- Arnold, Klavan, Lallana.

TEAM NEWS

Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Prödl, Britos; Janmaat, Cleverley, Doucouré, Capoue, Amrabat; Deeney (c), Niang.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Lucas, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Firmino, Origi.

TEAM NEWS

TEAM NEWS

Chill out guys, you've got a game in an hour!

Daniel Sturridge could still save his Liverpool career between now and the end of the season but could look at a move to Everton in the summer, says former England international Stuart Pearce.

Sturridge has rarely featured under Jürgen Klopp this season and is widely expected to leave Anfield at the end of the campaign, but Pearce, who worked with the forward while at Manchester City, thinks the former Borussia Dortmund boss could be persuaded to give the 27-year-old another chance.

"If he can get back on the pitch and score the odd goal between now and the end of the season, it might just sway the manager at Liverpool to keep him, if he feels as though his future's at the club," Pearce told Sky Sports.

"He can score goals, you know he can score goals, consistently he's done that all through his career both international and at club level, I'm sure there's always a taker for someone who's consistently going to score. Where that'll be I'm not sure."

Daniel Sturridge

Watford could be without integral defender Craig Cathcart for the visit of Liverpool.

The former Manchester United starlet is struggling with a knee problem and is a major doubt for Walter Mazzari's men, who are already without Mauro Karate, Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul.

Craig Cathcart

Liverpool's Champions League qualification bid has been handed a major boost with the news that England internationals Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge have both returned to training ahead of the final four games of the season.

Lallana has not played since the international break in March due to a hamstring injury which has seen him miss the last five games including the 2-1 loss to Palace last weekend.

Sturridge meanwhile has been nursing a hip problem which kept him out against The Eagles amid a campaign during which he has been restricted to just five Premier League starts.

"Adam [Lallana] is back in team training for the first time, Hendo not on the pitch, Daniel [Sturridge] in team training too," Jurgen Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.

Will the attacking duo start tonight?

Jurgen Klopp and Adam Lallana

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of Watford vs Liverpool.

The Hornets have little to play for with Premier League survival essentially secure, but the Reds have a lot to fight for during the dying embers of the season. A win for Jurgen Klopp's men would bolster their chances of Champions League qualification significantly, though their recent memories of Vicarage Road are far from fond - they were hammered 3-0 in the same fixture last season.

The Reds are a different beast now, though, and will be no doubt boosted by the return of Adam Lallana, who has developed into somewhat of a talismanic figure at Anfield this season.

Will the England international start against the Hornets? Find out right here, where we will provide team news and all the latest updates from Vicarage Road.

Troy Deeney

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