Liverpool star Coutinho limps off at Watford

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A win for the Reds will strengthen their hold on third and improve their chances of a top four finish.

Victory at Vicarage Road pushed Jurgen Klopp's side three points clear of Manchester City, a further point ahead of Manchester United and nine clear of Arsenal in sixth.

The two Manchester sides, though, have a game in hand over their Merseyside rivals in the race for Champions league qualifying places.

A Daryl Janmaat cross almost caught out Simon Mignolet in the closing minutes as Watford upped the pressure in the closing moments, but to no avail, with a Sebastian Prodl volley cannoning off the crossbar in the final seconds of added time.

Watford were also forced into an early change when Christian Kabasele came on for the injured Miguel Britos in the 19th minute.

Coutinho suffered an ankle injury in November that kept him out until the middle of January and, while Liverpool coped well without the South American, the loss of Sadio Mané for the remainder of the season means Klopp can ill afford to lose Coutinho again.

Liverpool star Coutinho limps off at Watford
Liverpool star Coutinho limps off at Watford

Lallana was outdone by Can's effort on the stroke of half-time, though.

As a rather lacklustre first half was drawing to a close, Can got on the end of Lucas Leiva's lofted ball into the box and with an overhead kick, sent it into the back of the net.

After the break Liverpool remained on top, with Divock Origi next to test Gomes.

Simon Mignolet had largely been a bystander, but the Belgian made a fine fingertip stop to keep out a well-hit shot from Etienne Capoue, who was booked for remonstrating when referee Craig Pawson failed to spot the shot was saved.

Liverpool were nearly caught cold in the last minute of injury time, but Prodl's fierce half-volley cannoned back off the crossbar, leaving the visitors breathing a late sigh of relief.

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