One game down. Three games to go. Liverpool beat Watford FC at Vicarage Road courtesy of a goal by Emre Can Jürgen Klopp described as “spectacular” when asked for his reaction to an important step to finishing in the top four. It was not the easiest contest for the away side in a game that was generally short of quality but one that Liverpool dominated throughout.
How would Liverpool respond after Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal all dropping points over the weekend? The loss to Crystal Palace raised doubts over whether Klopp’s players had enough to seal a top four spot, but Liverpool should be aiming to finish third even if an early injury to Philippe Coutinho may leave his participation in doubt.
For Klopp, though, he had much to be pleased with after closing on 70 points with 270 minutes of Premier League football remaining this season.
“It feels really good as you can imagine,” Klopp said after the game. “It was a difficult game to play, we started really well and then we had to change Phil, who is very important player, and Adam Lallana coming on after so long out.
“We started patiently, played football and tried to create moments. The goal was spectacular of course. It was clear we have to work and that is what we did. It won't be easy for anyone to win here.
“We needed a bit of luck but we worked hard for it. They did not have a lot of situations but it was difficult to defend. We needed to be careful and I think the boys did well. I'm fine with the performance.”
Watford didn't have much bar the crossbar rattling virtually at the death, but they tossed the ball into the box regularly enough to test Simon Mignolet’s appetite for plucking the ball out of the air. Six claims were impressive and helped extinguish the main threat from the home side. A couple of long range shots were problematic, but Klopp can be satisfied with a 1-0 away win with Southampton to visit Anfield on Sunday. Onwards.