Watford boss Nigel Pearson believes Liverpool 's extra class was ultimately the difference between the sides at Anfield on Saturday.

Two goals from Mohamed Salah tightened Liverpool's grip on their lead at the top of the Premier League , despite the Hornets creating a number of clear-cut chances.

Ismaila Sarr and Abdooulaye Doucoure spurned two huge chances in the first period before Alisson Becker made a couple of excellent saves to deny Sarr and Gerard Deulofeu in the second half.

Liverpool's goals came via two moments of brilliance from Salah who curled home from a decisive counter-attack on 38 minutes before back-heeling home Divock Origi's scuffed effort in the closing stages.

Nigel Pearson on the touchline at Anfield

Pearson said his side had matched the European champions for large spells in his first game in charge of the Hornets, but conceded the Reds' individual excellence separated the teams at Anfield.

"It's always hard to come to places like this," Pearson said. "There is a bit of risk and reward. We knew we would have to absorb pressure.

"The disappointment was their goal came from our set piece and that is something we need to address. I think we put them under strain and caused them problems but they have unbelievable players.

"We need to reflect on the performance and that going forwards will serve us well in the fight. I have seen more positives than negatives today.

"We have to make things happen and hopefully people have seen encouragement today."

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The Watford brace takes Salah up to 13 for the season in all competitions and two clear ahead of Sadio Mane in the race for Anfield's Golden Bo