Liverpool beat struggling Watford to complete a remarkable return to the top of the Premier League – for a few hours at least.
The Reds trailed Manchester City by 14 points on 15 January, but a 10th straight league win at a raucous Anfield took them above Pep Guardiola’s side, whom they meet on 10 April.
Diogo Jota’s 20th club goal of the season – and his third in as many appearances in a red shirt, 34 seconds after Alisson made a huge save to deny Juraj Kucka – helped seal a tense win.
Portugal forward Jota jumped between two Watford defender to meet a cross and head past Ben Foster as Joe Gomez marked only his second league start of the season with an assist.
Fabinho’s late penalty – after Kucka’s rugby-style challenge on Jota – secured the points.
Despite sealing a potentially significant win, Liverpool were not at their fluent best.
Joao Pedro wasted a glorious chance to equalise in the second half as Watford remain third from bottom, three points from safety.
Liverpool are two points ahead of City, who face struggling Burnley at Turf Moor