Virgil van Dijk doubles up after Sadio Mane produce moment of magic

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After back-to-back goalless draws, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk scored braces at Anfield, with Divock Origi also finding the back of the net in just his third start of the season.

Firmino picked up his injury in the first half of Sunday's 0-0 draw with Man United, and though the striker is a quick healer and could be back for the weekend's trip to Everton, he was always unlikely to feature against Watford.

Alexander-Arnold then got his third assist of the game as a brilliant free kick into the box was met by Van Dijk, who headed in emphatically at the Kop end. Not only did Liverpool preserve their one-point advantage over Manchester City, they chipped into their goal difference, too. Against Watford though they were excellent and created chances from the outset, tearing the opposition apart.

Liverpool had drawn three of their previous four league games, but never looked like dropping points on Wednesday. He was a handful all evening and benefited from great service.

The midfielder has found his playing time to be very limited since his move to Old Trafford from Shakhtar Donetsk on a five-year contract last summer.

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Mane had two goals to his name after 20 minutes, scoring with a leaping header before audaciously backheeling beyond Ben Foster in the Watford goal.

Southampton beat Fulham 2-0 with goals from Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse to edge out of the relegation zone, with Claudio Ranieri's men now 10 points off safety and looking doomed.

Not necessarily, Mane has scored against Manchester United and Arsenal so far this season, although that translates to two goals in eight appearances against fellow "Big Six" teams. We used that half space well. To have that awareness to take the touch and, with your back to play, back-heel it over the keeper, it was unbelievable skill.

It could have been a nervous 90 minutes for the home fans, with Watford a risky opponent, but the manner of Liverpool's victory was crucial in the sense of ending their recent poor run and laying a blueprint for the run-in. The Belgian cut inside from the left as he held off Daryl Janmaat before finishing at the near post.

Winning ugly is as important as winning with style in a title run-in, but Liverpool really needed to win with style after their recent run, and they accomplished that and more vs. Watford.