Liverpool grafted their way to a massive three points as they attempt to pull away from the pack and secure third place in the table.

Thanks to an Emre Can’s stunning goal, the Reds beat Watford 0-1 at Vicarage Road.

What started with all the hallmarks of a match that has troubled Liverpool in the calendar year ended with a decidedly positive result. Watford knew the gameplay. Stay organized, sit deep, wait for a chance, and counter-attack quickly. Like so many other matches, Watford found their joy down Liverpool’s left side.

It was clear early that Liverpool were in for a long evening as three players were put to the deck in the opening minutes, one of which was Philippe Coutinho, who was forced into an early exit.

Fortunately, Adam Lallana’s return allowed the little magician to take no chances and leave the match. Considering Lallana’s minimal preparation, he made an impressive impact, albeit earlier than expected.

Liverpool will hope Coutinho’s recovery is speedy as they can ill afford to lose another key figure from the side. Early indications were positive but the Brazilian’s recent form and creativity will no doubt be essential for the final three matches.

Here are four findings from the match.

Start slideshow

Read more from Fred Haas