Liverpool swept aside what could have been a tricky away test on Saturday afternoon as the Reds claimed a 5-0 win over Watford.
Roberto Firmino grabbed a hattrick for Jurgen Klopp’s side, while there was another stunning solo effort from Mohamed Salah , and Sadio Mane completed the scoring.
Liverpool arrived into the game with Alisson and Fabinho absent due to the pair’s earlier commitments with Brazil, while Watford had appointed new manager Claudio Ranieri in the international break.
However, the Reds were unwavering as they produced another emphatic win to once again state their title ambitions at Vicarage Road.
READ MORE: Gary Neville has just given Mohamed Salah two reasons not to leave Liverpool
Here’s a roundup of what the national newspapers had to say about Liverpool’s performance:
Firmino’s hat-trick and Salah’s scorcher lead Liverpool rout of Ranieri’s Watford
Nick Ames, The Guardian
At the kick-off, it was all about Claudio Ranieri. By the end it was all about Mohamed Salah, because nowadays virtually everything is. Nobody in the top flight is operating on quite the same plane as Salah, who is producing some of the best and most consistent football seen at this level in the modern era.
Anyone preparing charges of hyperbole would surely be persuaded by a viewing of his past 10 performances: they have brought 10 goals but there has been so much more and he came close to surpassing himself here.
That is all the more remarkable given that, in more run-of-the-mill company, all manner of other narratives could have dominated. Never mind a ghastly Watford performance in Ranieri’s first game as head coach; Liverpool could bask in Roberto Firmino’s first hat-trick since December 2018 or, just as worthily, in Sadio Mané’s 100th Premier League goal.
Salah’s part in the latter had demonstrated he is operating towards the point of maximum expression but nine minutes into the second half he rendered it a footnote.
Watford 0-5 Liverpool: Reds dominance puts them top of the table
Josh O’Brien, The Mirror
Liverpool’s Egyptian talisman is arguably the best player on the planet on current form – his goal and assist today only reinforcing that claim.
If his assist was stunning, a precise, pinpoint pass into the path of Sadio Mane with the outside of his left boot – his goal was otherworldly.
The ball seemingly glued to the feet of the Reds forward, a deft ball-roll inside the Watford area was followed by a stunning cut-back that left Cathcart beaten all ends up before curling a left-footed effort past Foster – who was rooted to the spot.
Salah’s goal ensures yet another record has been broken by the 29-year-old, his ludicrous effort seals his status as the highest scoring African player in Premier League history with 104 – surpassing Didier Drogba ’s 103 in the process.
Mohamed Salah produces another genius moment as Liverpool beat Watford 5-0
Jim White, The Telegraph
He has done it again. For the eighth Liverpool game on the bounce, Mo Salah scored. And each one seems to be better than the last. Which, after his Messi-like wonder goal against Manchester City an fortnight ago, might seem improbable.
But here he was at it again, dancing past defenders as if they were traffic cones. Sure, given it was the fourth goal in as one-sided a rout as can be imagined it may not count as the most important of his career. But as a strike it was a moment to savour, a moment of impudence, a moment of magic.
Picking up the ball in the Watford area, he jinked and faded, tricked and feinted, beating three men as he danced, sending poor Craig Cathcart sprawling haplessly across the turf, before stroking the ball into the net.
No wonder his manager Jurgen Klopp was moved to suggest after the game that Salah is now the best player in the world: few can currently match his ability to marry ambition with delivery.
The ECHO are celebrating Mohamed Salah's Liverpool Premier League goals from 1 to 100 with a special souvenir publication - and Reds fans can get a copy now!
For only £2.50 you will receive the 'Salah - Our Egyptian King' edition as well as a free glossy poster.
It is available in most supermarkets and newsagents across Merseyside and North Wales - or online by clicking here.
Mohamed Salah hits wonder goal as five-star Liverpool demolish Watford
Tom Kershaw, The Independent
There can be few sweeping conclusions in such early stages of Ranieri’s tenure, but there should be no pretences either. This was a desperate display from Watford, who were dominated throughout and booed off at half-time. Not so much a new manager bounce, this was an afternoon that instead plumbed the depths of rock-bottom.
Credit for that, though, must also be paid to Liverpool, who remain unbeaten and moved to the top of the table. Roberto Firmino completed his hat-trick in stoppage time but it was, again, Mohamed Salah’s genius that demanded the spotlight.
His goal – Liverpool’s fourth – was of the finest calibre, greater perhaps even than his previous against Manchester City, and left a trail of strewn limbs in his path. For Watford, it will take a while to wipe clean the dirt and disappointment of such a chastening afternoon.
Liverpool smash FIVE past Watford in Claudio Ranieri's first match
Rob Draper, The Daily Mail
When Mo Salah received the ball, three players blocked him from goal. There really was no way through. Juraj Kucka, Cucho Hernadez and Craig Cathcart are not inconsiderable obstacles to surmount.
There was touch, a drag back, and a swerve and he was away Like the Red Sea parting for Moses, space seemingly arrived from nowhere, players melted away as like a dancer, his Salah's feet seemingly mesmerised those around him with their speed of movement.
Initially it put you in mind of that famous photo of five Belgian defenders vainly trying to stop Diego Maradona. And if that seems outlandish, right now no one is better than Salah.