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2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Mohamed Salah (4', 43', 77', 85')
  • Roberto Firmino (49')

Mohamed Salah's four goals, assist help Liverpool thrash Watford

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Burley: Salah is Prem's Player of the Year (2:18)

While Kevin De Bruyne may be the finished article, ESPN FC's Craig Burley feels Mohamed Salah is the Premier League's player of the year at this moment in time. (2:18)

Mohamed Salah's record-setting season shows no signs of slowing down as four goals in the 5-0 victory over Watford put him in pole position for the Premier League Golden Boot.

The Egypt international's first hat trick for the club took his tally to 36 goals for the campaign and his 28 in the top flight -- four better than injured Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane -- is the best in Europe's big five leagues.

Not far behind is Roberto Firmino, who marked the best goal-scoring season of his career with an exquisite back-heel for his 23rd in all competitions.

Watford presented little challenge as Liverpool bounced back from last weekend's defeat against Manchester United.

With United and Tottenham both involved in the FA Cup, Jurgen Klopp's side moved back into third place, two points either side of their top-four rivals.

It was Salah who stole the show again with his opener after four minutes. The £38 million summer signing exchanged passes with Sadio Mane before chasing down the ball in the penalty area and setting off on a driving run past Miguel Britos before firing an angled shot past Orestis Karnezis.

With that goal, he become the third Liverpool player to score at least 25 Premier League goals in a single season after Robbie Fowler in both 1994-95 and 1995-96 and Luis Suarez in 2013-14.

The middle goal of his treble, two minutes before half-time, was more team-oriented as Andrew Robertson exchanged passes with Sadio Mane before sliding in a cross which Salah could not fail to convert.

Even at that stage it appeared the game was beyond the visitors, but Firmino made sure five minutes into the second half when he back-heeled Salah's near-post cross through his legs and inside the far post, eclipsing his previous career best of 22 goals for Hoffenheim in 2013-14.

For Salah's third goal, in the 77th minute, Mane cut in from the right to feed the ball in, and despite being surrounded by defenders and falling over, Salah somehow managed to conjure a low shot inside the far post.

And after completing his hat trick with some penalty-area trickery, Salah rifled home substitute Danny Ings' rebound to become the first Liverpool player since Suarez against Norwich City in December 2013 to net four times in a single game.

Roberto Pereya's free kick onto the top of the crossbar in the 52nd minute was Watford's only moment of respite.

English Premier League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Liverpool 6 +12 18
2 Manchester City 6 +16 16
3 Chelsea 6 +10 16
4 Watford 6 +5 13
5 Tottenham Hotspur 6 +5 12
6 Arsenal 6 +3 12
7 Manchester United 6 0 10
8 AFC Bournemouth 6 -1 10
9 Leicester City 6 +1 9
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 0 9
11 Crystal Palace 6 -2 7
12 Everton 6 -3 6
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 6 -3 5
14 Southampton 6 -3 5
15 Fulham 6 -5 5
16 Burnley 6 -3 4
17 West Ham United 6 -6 4
18 Newcastle United 6 -4 2
19 Cardiff City 6 -11 2
20 Huddersfield Town 6 -11 2

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