Liverpool travelled to Vicarage Road in the early kickoff slot today and absolutely dominated Watford. The Reds enjoyed a quick start with Sadio Mané opening the scoring from a sumptuous Salah pass. They didn’t let up and went on to rack up a 5-0 away victory. Read on for player ratings from the game.
Kelleher – 8
Didn’t have much to do in the first hour, just a few passes here and there. Late on, Watford decided to have a go and he got his body behind a fierce shot from range. Then he made a great save from Sarr’s sidefooted shot to tip it onto the near post. Very strong save and deserving of the clean sheet. That’s now 6 clean sheets in his 11 appearances for the club.
Alexander-Arnold – 8.5
A welcome return to the side. Played some unreal passes throughout, one in particular with the outside of his boot to Salah was jaw-dropping. He made what seemed like a crucial tackle to thwart Cucka who was through on goal but there was an offside call in the buildup so the goal wouldn’t have stood anyway. Set pieces weren’t great though, given a breather second half.
Matip – 8.5
The gentle giant continues to shine. He had another impressive game today and it’s a welcome clean sheet after a couple of games without one. Got a finger in the eye on the stroke of halftime for his troubles. His passing is a huge asset to the team, and it helps that he’s a fantastic defender especially in one on one situations too. Helps us play the way we play with the fullbacks pushed right up.
Van Dijk – 8.5
Another stroll for the big man. There was a moment where a long ball was played down the right-wing and he just muscled in front of his man, flicked the ball up in the air, turned and played a pass to Robertson. The nonchalance he did this with as well, my days. What a player. Got clattered late on when he nicked a ball away before a shot could have been gotten away. Had my heart in my mouth till he rose to his feet and shook it off.
Robertson – 8
Started brightly, like the whole team. Played almost like a left midfielder with how high he was. Helped us squeeze the life out of them as he constantly pressed to win the ball back down that left hand side. He combined really well with Milner and Mané even if his final delivery wasn’t always on the money. Given a bit of a rest second half.
Henderson – 8
In Fabinho’s absence, the skipper stepped into the holding role and played well. He did what he had to do when he had to do it. A solid performance from start to finish. He lost out on one or two duels but nothing came of it, and his tendency to try and play a long ball forward at the slightest opportunity can frustrate at times. All in all though, a solid outing from the skipper. He and Keita got through a lot of work second half to help keep that clean sheet.
Milner – 9
The veteran was brilliant. Our best midfielder on the day even if he had to play right-back second half. He was constantly making runs behind the Watford defence, and it was one such run that saw him provide the assist for Firmino’s first goal. Constantly joining Robertson and Mané on the left and making runs on the outside of the Senegalese. Helped us keep the ball really well too with his nous of game management. Did a yeoman’s job at right-back too.
Keita – 8
A tidy performance by the Guinean. He covered a lot of the pitch and put out fires when they flared up. Unlucky not to score when his shot was deflected onto the crossbar. Like Henderson, he worked his socks off late in the game to keep Watford at bay when we had taken the foot of the pedal for a bit. Played the full game too, all good.
Salah – 10
He’s operating on another level entirely this season. From the very first minute, you knew it would be another show of devastating quality. He had Rose on toast throughout and he showed it when he nudged him out of the way and bent an exquisite ball behind the defence for Mané to run onto and open the scoring. His goal showed the mood he’s in right now. Surrounded by four players, he somehow dribbled through them before selling a dummy and whipping a shot into the far corner. Ben Foster had denied him twice with some excellent saves but you can only keep him out for so long.
Firmino – 10
The Brazilian marked his second start of the season with a hat trick and an assist. He actually had a quiet start to the game, as his passing let him down a number of times after he had found a half-space. He actually began the move for his goal when he exchanged passes with Milner before making his run into the box for the tap in. It was similar poachers finishes sealing his hat trick, when he stole in at the back post to tap home after Foster parried, before tapping home Williams’ cross late on. He gets the assist for Salah’s wonder goal too. Perfect.
Mané – 9
Started well, gave them problems down that side. Then when Salah’s pass came to him, he hit it the first time into the bottom corner. Confident finish. Should have had a brace but he could only fire wide from Bobby’s cross with Foster beaten. He looked really good as his combination play with Milner and Robertson created opening after opening. It was his cute reverse pass to Milner that led to the second goal. An in-form Sadio Mané is a sight to behold. 100 Premier League goals without a single penalty. Takes some doing, that.
Tsimikas – 6
Got involved straight away, put in a few tasty crosses with the very first one almost bringing Firmino his hat trick. Enjoyed a good battle against the fellow sub, Ngakia. Didn’t look out of place.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
Slotted into midfield and sought to combine with Tsimikas. Played one delightful ball over the top for Salah but Ben Foster did well to gather before Mo could finish. Valuable minutes.
- Williams – 7
Came on in the last 8 or so minutes and made his mark. A purposeful run down the right-wing, an exchange of passes with Salah, before putting it on a plate for Bobby at the back post to notch his hat trick. That’s how you take your chance in what is your very first appearance for the club this season.
Got his lineup spot on. James Milner offered steel and bite in midfield as we had to first win the fight, before expressing ourselves on the ball and letting our quality shine through. Used his subs to give the two fullbacks a breather, with Atletico Madrid and Manchester United on the horizon. Could have easily given Minamino, Origi or Jota the last sub but went for Neco instead and he was rewarded with an assist. Clean sheet, five goals scored away from home, without Alisson and Fabinho. A very good day at the office for the boss.