Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp played down the significance of reaching the Premier League summit after the scintillating Reds mauled Watford to hit top spot for the first time during the German’s Anfield reign.
The hosts were unplayable at times as Sadio Mane netted twice, while Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum also scored. Forlorn Watford restored a modicum of respectability by replying through Daryl Janmaat.
It is the fifth time Liverpool have scored four or more goals in the league this term and the thrashing sent the Merseysiders one point clear of Chelsea, although Klopp is keen to distance himself from talk of a first top-flight title since 1990.
“It is important to collect points for the final third of the season,” said Klopp. “League position is not important to me at the moment. It is important that we look like a team that can play well.
“This is not the team of two or three years ago, this is not the team of 25 years ago, this is a new group. We don’t need to be afraid of the future or offer any guarantees in November.”
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri, meanwhile, had little sympathy for his beleaguered charges. He said: “You can lose at the home of Liverpool but we should not have lost like that. It has been a lesson for the future.”
Chances came and went for Liverpool before the deadlock was broken by a Mane header, while a 20-yard drilled Coutinho effort and nodded attempt by Can effectively had the game sealed by half time.
Firmino tapped home Adam Lallana’s centre before Mane and Wijnaldum applied close-range finishes to complete the rout, but not before Janmaat struck as Liverpool conceded their seemingly obligatory goal.