Football

Emre Can was understandably delighted with his goal against Watford.

Emre Can explains what he intended to do when Lucas crossed the ball v Watford

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Liverpool are three wins from returning to the Champions League after their 1-0 win at Watford on Monday evening.

It was a low-key performance from the Reds as a whole, who lost star man Philippe Coutinho in the 13th minute and faced a late scare when Sebastian Prodl's injury-time strike hit the bar.

However, while third-placed Liverpool were not at their brilliant best against the Hornets, Emre Can had a night to remember with his match-winning goal set to live long in his memory.

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Adam Lallana, enjoying the best season of his career, returned from injury to replace the injured Coutinho - but the Reds key man was to be outshone in midfield by Can's moment of brilliance that even took Watford fans by surprise.

As can be seen in the image below, the home crowd were genuinely shocked by the 23-year-old's audacious overhead kick which looped over Watford 'keeper Heurelho Gomes to produce the only goal of the game.

The Germany international's strike would surprise very few if it was to be crowned the Goal of the Season at the end of the campaign. And the Liverpool man has confessed it was the "best goal I've ever scored".

Can's bravery and belief to meet Lucas' brilliant lofted pass with an acrobatic effort deserved the win, alone. Although it was not the immaculate performance to respond to their shock 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend.

Watford v Liverpool - Premier League

Reds close to UCL return

It did, however, mean wins against Southampton, West Ham and Middlesbrough would ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition - regardless of what fifth-placed Manchester United can produce in their remaining fixtures, which includes a game in hand.

But the story could have been so much different had Can opted to deal with Lucas' cross differently - which he had considered - as it arrived into the box.

"When the ball came I wanted to head it," Can admitted, per the Liverpool Echo. "But I saw the goal (was far away).

Watford v Liverpool - Premier League

"It was a great ball by Lucas, I didn't think too much. I was really happy I could help the team.

Can: The best I've scored

"It's the best goal I've ever scored. It was a great time. I want to help the team, I am very happy I could help with the goal."

Having played a game more, Liverpool are now three and four points ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively. But Can will quickly be forgetting his wonder strike against Watford in order to remain focused on the task at hand.

"It's in our hands," Can added. "If we win three games, we are in the Champions League.

"We have to go with confidence, we know it will be very difficult but we have a good team and we know if we win the games we will be in the Champions League next year."

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Topics:
Adam Lallana
Roberto Firmino
Emre Can
Philippe Coutinho
Football

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