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Football News: Watford v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

Watford v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
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Watford v Liverpool A Liverpool Perspective


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From the moment the game kicked off until Liverpool went 4-0 to the good, it was quite possibly the most dominant performance by a Liverpool team in the Premier League era. Watford were completely outclassed from the start until the finish. There is little to really pick out of this game as it was such a good performance, the only thing to complain about was a dip in performance level after the 4th was scored!




Watford were comprehensively outplayed for 90 minutes but in large part that was down to some bizarre team choices by Ranieri. Why on earth did Danny Rose start? How did he then complete the game? He was out on his feet after the first 5 minutes of being destroyed by Salah, clearly carrying a few stones extra, or he was wearing a Michelin Man suit under his kit. The whole team were a mess and were all over the place. Considering how long Ranieri has had to work with the players, it is a worry and they look like relegation certainties.

The one bright spot for the Hornets was Ngakia, which raises more questions about why the lad is a substitute rather than a starter? Watford were terrible, but in large part that was down to Liverpool getting at them from the kick off and not allowing them time and space to sort themselves out.




Klopp - got the selection right, though his options were limited in midfield, but the swap of Firmino for Jota made a major difference and allowed the team to dominate the ball better than usual. He kept on the players to ensure complacency did not set in and pushed them right up until the final whistle.


Kelleher - will never have an easier 90 minutes in his life. He could have been on the beach in Spain with the Brazilians! He did pull off a brilliant save to push the ball onto the post, though I think it might have been offside anyway. Hard to remember as the offside decisions come so long after the passage of play you forget which moment they were related to!


Alexander-Arnold - had a very good game, put some decent deliveries in and drove forward well, plus covered back well. On another day, he would be getting a lot of credit for his performance, but he was totally overshadowed by others. Admittedly he was not pushed too hard defensively, but that was as a virtue of the team's play on the ball and not allowing Watford the chance to get out.


Matip - looked back to his best once again. He was much happier as Watford failed to make use of Sarr's pace to get in behind him and he was able to engage high up the pitch.


van Dijk - imperious. He even stuck his oar into the debate about who is the best player in the world with that lovely little back header before playing it out from the back so calmly under pressure. Unfortunately for him, Salah ended the discussion with his masterpiece.


Robertson - if only he could refind his delivery, he would be back to form. Unfortunately, for all his excellent play other than that, his corners and crosses do tend to take the attention away from all the other stuff he does so well.


Milner - as usual he put in a performance of industry and intelligence. He breaks up play and keeps it ticking over well, but his key asset is the timing of his runs. Milner often makes a run just at the right time to drag defenders away from others as the ball is being passed to them.


Keita - while he lacked the creativity he was supposed to bring to the team, he did show a much better work ethic and made some challenges that in the past he would have pulled out of. That is a much better base to build from than a one-off freak goal. In the English league you have to be prepared to put a foot in and be physical, something that had been completely absent from Keita's game up until now.


Henderson - having Milner alongside him allowed him more freedom than normal in the deeper-lying role, so he was able to influence the play higher up the pitch. In large part he was helped by Watford's poor performance, but you can only beat what is in front of you.


Mane - looked back to form, though was totally overshadowed by the performance of the two alongside him. Worked hard, scored a goal and gave his opponent a torrid time. On another day we would all be raving about him.


Salah - the best player in the world right now? I think he settled the argument with this performance, though it must be said Danny 'dump truck' Rose is hardly the most difficult opposition he will face this week. I would say his daughter will give him a much tougher task next time they kick the ball about in the garden. However Rose was helped out constantly by as many bodies as they could get around Salah and it still availed them nothing. The ball to Mane for the first was exquisite, but it was nothing compared to his goal. He also worked hard and tracked back on the rare occasion it was needed. I also thought his post-match interview was very impressive with his constant reference to how well others had played and the team performance, rather than just talking about himself.


Firmino - on a normal day a hat trick would guarantee you man of the match, but not today. Not in this game. Unless you can do something superhuman, you simply are not going to get that honour off Salah. Shame for Firmino as he was excellent after the opening few minutes when his attempts to play the quick, clever ball were just not coming off. As Watford found themselves overrun, the spaces were opening up for those passes and he became more and more important to the team's play.


Tsimikas - replaced Robertson in the 64th minute. With the game being over by the time he came on, it is difficult to judge him, but his delivery from wide areas is always dangerous. If only he had been delivering the corners from the left, you would have to think more chances would have been created.


Oxlade-Chamberlain - came on for Alexander-Arnold in the 65th minute. Worked hard, picked off loose balls and harried Watford, keeping the momentum in Liverpool's favour just as the work rate dipped from other players. The quality is not quite there though unfortunately.


N. Williams - was brought on in the 83rd minute to take Milner's place. Again difficult to judge him, but he did do well in the time he had. His role in the 5th showed a good instinct, with the decision to go across the keeper with his shot meaning it fell to Firmino when he failed to connect properly. But that is why you want a player to go across a keeper in the first place, as it increases the chances of it falling to a teammate if you do not get it quite right or the keeper saves it.

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Written by Tris Burke October 17 2021 01:39:46


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