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Watford v Liverpool Live Commentary, 01/05/2017

FT
0 - 1
WAT
LIV
E. Can (45+2)
Vicarage Road

Commentary

That’s all for now. Until next time, goodbye!
Well, in what was - in all truth - a game with a bit of an end-of-season feel about it, it is Can’s wonder strike that has secured all there points for Liverpool, who consolidate their place in third. Though they came under pressure right at the end, with Prodl hitting the woodwork.
FULL TIME: Watford 0 Liverpool 1.
I. Success
Yellow Card
Watford
Success goes into the referee's book for a foul on Sturridge.
CROSSBAR! So close! What a let off for Liverpool. A loose ball falls to Prodl, but the Austrian’s strike rattles away off the woodwork.
Another poor mistake from the linesman, who incorrectly deems that Okaka had strayed offside when, in fact, he had timed his run perfectly.
CHANCE! That’s a top-class stop from Gomes, who reacts instinctively to parry Sturridge’s low effort wide.
SAVE! A rampaging run from Matip culminates in the defender finding himself unmarked in Watford’s area. With no support readily available, he elects to go for goal, but Gomes did well to close the angle.
R. Klavan
A. Lallana
Liverpool
Klopp utilises his final substitution to give Lallana - who replaced the stricken Coutinho early on - a rest. Defender Ragnar Klavan comes on in the playmaker’s place.
Mariappa rises highest to meet Cleverly’s free-kick, though the ex-Crystal Palace defender can’t direct his header on target, and had strayed offside anyway.
S. Okaka
N. Amrabat
Watford
Watford’s third and final change sees Nordin Amrabat make way for Stefano Okaka.
D. Sturridge
D. Origi
Liverpool
A change now for Liverpool, as Daniel Sturridge makes his comeback from injury. Origi is the player who goes off.
Mignolet is almost caught out by a shot to his near post, but recovers in time to make the save.
Another corner for Watford, but again Liverpool deal with it as Mignolet comes out to claim Cleverley’s delivery.
Another tricky moment for referee Pawson, who has had a difficult time of it since his baffling failure to see Mignolet's excellent save. The ball was headed out of play, but hit the official before it crossed in line, with Watford picking up the scraps. Technically, the ball was still in play, and the referee should have allowed play on, but instead elected to award Liverpool the throw-in.
CHANCE! A dreadful decision by Janmaat to shoot from range results in a blistering Liverpool counter. Can threads a throughball into the feet of Lallana, who had stayed onside, but his first touch is a poor one, and Amrabat gets back to clear.
Watford appear to be building up some momentum now, and Liverpool may well be in for a testing final 15 minutes, unless of course they can extend their lead...
I. Success
É. Capoue
Watford
A substitution now for Watford. Capoue goes off, to be replaced by Isaac Success.
Another positive moment for Watford, though it’s another poor decision from the officials. Deeney had made a great run in behind Liverpool’s defence, with Lovren clearly playing Watford’s skipper onside, but somehow the linesman deems otherwise. A let off for Liverpool!
É. Capoue
Yellow Card
Watford
CLOSE! Finally, Watford apply some pressure. First, Amrabat’s shot is blocked, but the rebound falls to Capoue. The former Tottenham man unleashes a venomous strike that seems destined for the net, but Mignolet tips it over. Inexplicably, however, the referee fails to award the corner, instead booking Capoue for his complaints.
Neat work by Milner and Lallana down the left, but the Liverpool captain cannot quite keep the ball in play before getting his cross in, and the chance goes begging.
A handball by Clyne gives Watford a free-kick just in Liverpool’s half. The hosts switch the play over to Amrabat, who in turn sets Janmaat free down the left. The Dutchman’s cross, however, is too close to Mignolet.
Liverpool have seemingly stepped off the gas at the moment, but Watford are still showing little in the way of any creativity going forward. Klopp’s men are looking extremely comfortable and, as it stands, are moving three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City.
Finally, Watford manage to get some service into Niang and Deeney, though the duo are unable to combine and Liverpool soon work their way back upfield. The atmosphere is flat at Vicarage Road, and the hosts must do something to alter that sooner rather than later...
Watford just can’t find a way out of their own half at the minute, with Liverpool pinning the hosts right back to the edge of their own area. It may be time for Mazzarri to consider utilising his remaining substitutions.
Good play by Origi, who stands up two Watford defenders before engineering space for himself and curling a strike towards the left-hand corner, but Gomes is equal to it.
A painful one for Liverpool’s goalscorer Can, who collides heavily with Niang. The Germany international is fine to carry on, though.
Milner’s free-kick is curled into a dangerous area, but Gomes is able to make a comfortable save.
S. Prödl
Yellow Card
Watford
Watford must look to assert some authority on proceedings if they are to get anything out of this encounter. Their midfield has been bypassed too often so far, and that is allowing Liverpool to press. As I type, Prodl dives in late on Firmino right on the edge of the hosts’ area, picking up a booking for his troubles…
Welcome back! Fresh from taking the lead courtesy of Can’s stunner, Liverpool get the second half underway.
Watford will have to open up in the second half now, and that may well lead to more space for Liverpool’s forwards to expose.
It was a relatively uneventful half at Vicarage Road - punctuated by early injuries to Coutinho and Britos - until Lallana struck the woodwork with an ambitious volley before, in stoppage time, Can’s moment of brilliance put the visitors ahead.
HALF TIME: Watford 0 Liverpool 1.
Lucas Leiva
Assist
Liverpool
Lucas picked up the ball out on the right, but his cross was slightly behind Can, who somehow adjusted his feet to thump Liverpool into the lead in incredible fashion.
E. Can
Goal
Liverpool
GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!! WHAT A STRIKE BY CAN! Well, this game has lacked quality so far, but Liverpool’s German midfielder has come up with a moment of magic. It was nothing more than a hopeful punt into the area by Lucas, but the former Bayer Leverkusen man connects with a stunning bicycle kick, which sends the ball nestling into the top-left corner. Gomes had no chance.
There will be three minutes added on at the end of this uneventful first half...
Lucas Leiva
Yellow Card
Liverpool
Ridiculous from Lucas who, just minutes after Can was fortunate to escape a booking for a dive on the other wing, goes down dramatically after making the smallest of contacts with Cleverley. Liverpool’s midfielder is rightly cautioned.
CLOSE! Gomes races out to punch the corner clear, but only to where Lallana 20 yards out. The England man weighs up his options as the ball falls towards him, ultimately sending a dipping volley goalwards. Gomes is well beaten, but the ball rattles down off the crossbar, and Watford get it clear.
A ludicrous dive from Can, who - almost in slow-motion - goes down on the edge of Watford’s area, albeit to no avail. Liverpool do get a corner out of the attack, though...
Appeals for a penalty from the Watford faithful, after Deeney goes down under pressure from Lovren. The Hornets captain gets right back to his feet, not appealing himself, and it would have been fruitless anyway, as Craig Pawson remained uninterested.
No team has scored more Premier League goals this season in the 15 minutes before half-time than Liverpool. There is little sign of a goal coming for either side before the interval at Vicarage Road, though.
Fine work from Niang, who twists and turns his way to the touchline before looking to unleash a cross, which Clyne blocks. The corner is cleared, though only as far as Doucoure, whose strike does not find its way through a crowd of red shirts.
Neither side have really managed to settle as of yet, with both sets of players sloppy in possession. Origi manages to find space down the left, driving to the byline before powering in a low cross that Gomes gets down to.
STAT - Liverpool have won 10 of their previous 12 meetings with the Hornets in all competitions, losing just twice.
Liverpool just seem to have stepped up the pressure on Watford’s line in recent moments, with the hosts not managing to to make any inroads into the visitors’ territory.
Clyne gets the better of Cleverley with some quick footwork down the right, drawing a late tackle from the Everton loanee. Milner arcs in the resulting free-kick, but Watford clear it at the second time of asking.
SAVE! A first meaningful effort of the game for Liverpool, and it is Can who tries his luck with a venomous strike from range. Gomes gets down low to make a decent stop, though, parrying the ball out to the left, where Prodl is on hand to clear.
So, an opening 20 minutes or so punctuated by injuries and substitutions for both sides. Liverpool are yet to find their rhythm, while Watford have, as of yet, not tested Mignolet.
C. Kabasele
M. Britos
Watford
Indeed, after receiving treatment, it is confirmed that Britos will be unable to continue. Belgium defender Christian Kabasele is his replacement.
An injury blow now for the hosts, as Britos looks set to be forced off with a knock.
Watford, who won 3-0 in the corresponding fixture last term, last won back-to-back home games (all comps) against Liverpool in May 1983, as the late Graham Taylor’s side ran out 2-1 winners.
A. Lallana
Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool
Coutinho’s injury has really disrupted Liverpool, and their talisman now has to make way having failed to overcome the knock. Lallana, who has been out for over a month, replaces him.
A lovely touch by Niang leaves Matip flat-footed, and the former Schalke man can only bring down the French youngster. Doucoure picks up the scraps from the resulting free-kick, but his long-range effort is blocked.
Coutinho is struggling at the moment, though Klopp - who has sent out Adam Lallana to warm up - will give the Brazil playmaker every chance to continue.
With Coutinho off the field, Watford take advantage of their temporary numerical advantage to make inroads down the right. Niang picks up the ball 20 yards from goal, but his tame effort is easily saved by Mignolet.
Concern for Liverpool, with Coutinho appearing to have picked up a dead leg. He is going to try and run it off, though it may be one to keep an eye on...
That’s clumsy from Prodl, who is perhaps lucky to escape a booking after scything into Origi. It allows Coutinho to float in a looping free-kick, but Can can’t quite get enough purchase on his header.
It will be interesting to see how Watford’s 3-5-2 system plays out against Liverpool. Right from the off, Deeney and Niang push high, with the latter very nearly nipping in ahead of Lovren, though the Croatia defender recovers to make a timely challenge.
KICK OFF! We’re underway at Vicarage Road, with Watford getting the first game of the final month of the Premier League season up and running.
Watford’s productivity from set-pieces could well be key this evening. Liverpool have been vulnerable from crosses into their area this term - with their issues summed up by Christian Benteke’s second goal last week. The Reds will have to be on top form defensively if they are to keep out their hosts from set-plays today, you feel, while Watford will have to try and keep Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho under wraps.
No changes from Klopp, who saw his side lose 2-1 to Crystal Palace at Anfield last week. The big boost for the visitors comes on the bench, with both Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana coming back into the fold after returning from injury.
Liverpool substitutes: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Grujic, Lallana, Sturridge, Moreno.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Wijnaldum, Lucas, Can; Firmino, Origi, Coutinho.
One change for Watford from the side that were beaten 2-0 by Hull City last time out. The injured Jose Holebas drops out, with Adrian Mariappa coming in as Walter Mazzarri switches to a 3-5-2 system.
Watford substitutes: Success, Behrami, Zuniga, Kabasele, Costel Pantilimon, Okaka, Eleftheriou.
Watford (3-5-2): Gomes; Mariappa, Prodl, Britos; Janmaat, Cleverley, Doucoure, Capoue, Amrabat; Niang, Deeney.
TEAM NEWS…
Watford have lost five of their last six Premier League games against Liverpool, who in turn will be looking to win three successive Premier League away games under Jurgen Klopp for only the second time, with the previous occasion coming in October 2016.
With both Manchester United and Manchester City having dropped points on Sunday, Liverpool will be aiming to consolidate their place in the top four with a win. Meanwhile, Watford are searching for a fourth straight home win.
Hello, and a very warm welcome to LIVE coverage of tonight’s Premier League action, as Watford host Liverpool at Vicarage Road!