LONDON: Liverpool shook off a sluggish first hour to extend their unbeaten start to the Premier League season thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in a 3-0 win at Watford.
The Hornets were left fuming as they were denied a seemingly blatant penalty at 0-0 before Liverpool took control and claimed victory despite a late red card for captain Jordan Henderson.
Despite the margin of victory to remain just two points off Premier League leaders Manchester City, it was another far from convincing performance from Jurgen Klopp's men.
The visitors escaped a major scare when Watford’s Will Hughes went down under Andy Robertson’s challenge early in the second-half.
Liverpool, however, underlined their growing title credentials by taking full advantage of their good fortune.
And there was plenty for Klopp to cheer in the final quarter via a predatory goal for Salah, a fine free-kick from the ever-improving Alexander-Arnold and, finally, the end of a two-month Premier League scoring drought for Firmino.
However, Henderson's dismissal will be a concern, leaving the influential captain unable to figure in next weekend’s Merseyside derby against Everton.
Watford started the brighter and had an early Gerard Deulofeu goal ruled out off for offside, but there was little incident of not until the closing stages of the first half.
Ben Foster had to save smartly from Firmino before the Hornets broke through Roberto Pereyra, who forced a flying save from Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
The turning point arrived early in the second period when Watford were convinced they should have had a penalty when Hughes was caught by Robertson and referee Jon Moss dismissed their appeals.
Liverpool took full advantage, finally breaking the deadlock on 67 minutes when Firmino released Mane, who crossed for Salah to shoot goalwards with an effort that squirmed past Foster.
Nine minutes later Liverpool were well on course for a 10th win in 13 league games to start the campaign when Alexander-Arnold, who opened his account for England against the United States during the international break, looped a stunning free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
Henderson picked up a second bookable offence and therefore a red when he body-checked Etienne Capoue eight minutes from time.
But Liverpool still found a third goal with a late break when Robertson burst down the left, Foster saved from Mane but Firmino headed home the rebound.