A delighted Nigel Pearson was fulsome in his praise after Watford stunned Liverpool and is now hoping for more performances of a similar calibre as the Hornets look to build on their 3-0 victory and aim to secure their Premier League status.

A brace from Ismaila Sarr on his first start since returning from injury put the Hornets in the driving seat before the Senegal youngster set up Troy Deeney for the third as Jurgen Klopp’s champions-elect suffered their first defeat of the season.

The win moved the Hornets out of the drop zone and the head coach said: “In the context of our season it’s a really important three points. We knew that we’d have to be at our best today and I think we were. Especially after last week where we struggled to find any cohesion so to bounce back in the way we have is fantastic for us and to beat the best club side in the world at the moment is testament to how we played.

“It’s very satisfying but it’s just one game, we’ve got ten games left and they’re all going to be very important. We’ve got to try and emulate what we’ve done today in terms of performance.

“I’m very proud of the players and they should be with how they’ve coped with a difficult situation. We’ve had a few weeks where the results weren’t what we wanted. I’m not going to say we’ve under performed but we found it difficult to find ways of winning games, so that adds a bit more pressure, but I think they’ve coped exceptionally well today.”

Asked if the way to beat Liverpool was not to show them too much respect, Pearson responded: “We have a lot of respect for them. It’s about us taking care of own season. We can only affect other teams by getting our own performance right. That’s what we’ve done today. It’s not about not having respect.

“We knew we had to be at our maximum and I thought we defended with an awful lot of discipline when we had to defend deep, but we were aggressive with the pressing and I thought we played with quality as well. They were the things which please me very much today that every single player out there did what they were in the side to deliver.”

Sarr’s brace took his tally for the season to six games in all competitions and his head coach said: “I’m reluctant to have too high an expectation. When you’ve got young players it’s important for them to enjoy their football. He’s a very good player, he’s been out for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury and we were thinking before the game maybe 70 minutes would be a safe amount of time.

“His impact was very, very good today and we need to do everything we can to keep him available, but he played his part like everybody else because the whole team delivered what they were picked to deliver. There were some great performances throughout the side.”

The victory though, was marred by a first-half injury to Gerard Deulofeu, who was stretchered off after twisting his knee.

Pearson was awaiting an update on the player’s condition when he spoke to the media, but commented: “He’s at hospital at the minute. It is distressing for the players and obviously for Geri. I went into the medical room and saw him at half-time. He was clearly distressed and in quite a bit of pain. He’s been excellent for us so we’ll just have to see how that one is.”