Liverpool Player Ratings vs Watford (February 29, 2020)

Posted By Uttiyo Sarker on February 29, 2020
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Liverpool are now just four wins away from ‘OFFICIALLY’ clinching the Premier League title. The next one their parade are relegation-contenders Watford. Expect this to be a comfortable win for the Reds. Welp, not really! Watford pulled out an absolute shocker, winning 3-0 to humiliate the Reds and effectively ending their invincibles dream!

Liverpool were rather sluggish in the first-half, managing 65% possession but not being able to record a single shot on target. In fact they only attempted a single shot, equalling the worst first-half they’ve recorded since Klopp took over! Yep, that was a terrible half. 

The Reds were made to pay for their sloppiness as some poor defensive work allowed Ismaila Sarr to thump in from close range to give Watford the lead in the 54th-minute. Sarr added even more misery six-minutes later when he sped past their defensive line before chipping past Alisson to double The Hornets’ lead! 

Some more comical defending from Liverpool ensued in the 73rd-minute as a botched backpass from Alexander-Arnold ended up resulting in an easy goal for Troy Deeney to make it 3-0! This felt like their worst nightmare. They were awful in all departments and deserved to lose this one.

Props to Watford for being hungrier, working harder and going that extra mile to record this huge win. It might just be the jumpstart needed to save them from relegation. Liverpool will still win the league. It’ll just take a little bit longer than expected. 

Here are Liverpool vs Watford player ratings

Liverpool Player Ratings 

Manager

Jurgen Klopp (4.0) – 

A sensible decision from Klopp to drop Keita for this one. Playing Lovren ahead of Gomez or Matip, however, wasn’t. As a matter of fact that decision proved fatal to their chances. He just couldn’t spark the comeback spirit today or inspire his players. Individual mistakes aren’t on him, but Klopp ended up crumbling under the pressure today as well. 

The real worrying sign for him is Liverpool’s steam is running off quickly. He’ll need to fix that to avoid such a calamity in games to come. Today, he was surprisingly outwitted by Nigel Pearson. 

Goalkeeper

Alisson (4.0) –

Almost embarrassed himself fumbling a simple collection before the break but lucky to see Deeney not scoring from it. Redeemed that with a terrific save off Sarr’s 46th-minute thunderbolt. Sarr chipped one over him for the second and poor miscommunication with Alexander-Arnold sees him concede 3 for the first-time this season. 

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold (3.5) –

Alexander-Arnold’s giving Deulofeu too much room to trouble his goalkeeper. Watford have clearly targetted his side, orchestrating all their moves through his wing. Unable to do anything to stop the relentless supply. Terrible mistimed backpass handed Watford a silly third-goal. His defensive weaknesses were exposed badly today. Couldn’t create anything positive with his delivery either. 

Virgil van Dijk (5.0) –

VVD faces the bullish Deeney today. Looks ready to endure pressure. Made a great block off Doucoure’s attempt in the 15th. Showed class with apologizing to Deulofeu despite not being at fault for his nasty injury. Ended up making an error trying to cover for Lovren’s mistake before the goal. Switched off completely for Sarr’s second. Made some crucial clearances and tried holding down the fort but ended up crumbling under the pressure himself. 

Dejan Lovren (3.0) – 

His first league outing since December! Helped his side absorb the early pressure pretty good. Playing with fire at times as he could’ve conceded a penalty late on towards the first-half with a clear pull-back on Deeney inside the area. Allowed the throw-in loop over him too easily leading to Sarr’s goal. Almost gifted him the hattrick by playing him onside for a free swipe at goal in the 82nd.

It’s no coincidence he comes in and Liverpool produce their worst defensive performance of the season. He was all over the place, being bullied by Deeney. Should never have started ahead of Gomez or even Matip!

Andy Robertson (4.5) – 

Robbo looks well equipped to deal with Sarr’s pace. Bolted forward with determination and recorded Liverpool’s first shot on target with his powerful 52nd-minute drive being saved well. But two minutes later he left Sarr unchecked, allowing his goal. Didn’t react fast enough to stop Deeney’s pass for the second. Looked the only player who gave a damn with his tireless attitude but outplayed by Sarr in the end. 

Midfielders

Gini Wijnaldum (4.5) –

Gini’s showcased a lot of energy early. Made an important interception in the 10th to deny Watford a clear-cut scoring chance. While his defensive contribution was fine as he dropped deeper to deny Watford at times, he couldn’t influence anything going forward. Had no creativity nor urgency to get things done. 

Fabinho (4.5) –

Looks comfortable dictating things from deep. But when the pressure arrived, he buckled under. Not able to do anything to stop Watford’s fast-breaks, too nonchalant in distributing possession and looked lacklustre in midfield. Looks a bit disillusioned without Henderson to aid him. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (4.5) –

This is the kind of games Ox normally shines at. Moved into a promising area in the 16th but his cheeky nutmeg was apprehended. Made some promising penetrative runs but horribly lacked the final product. Not able to make the most use of the opportunity. 

Forwards

Mohamed Salah (4.0) –

Salah loves playing against Watford. He has 8 in his last 5 against them!  Looks eager to add to that with his clever movement around the final third. Hits the side-netting in the 19th from a difficult angle. That was just about it. Salah cowered down once they started conceding and was too sloppy today. 

Sadio Mane (3.0) –

Mane was almost nonexistent in that boring first-half, barely being involved in positive moves. He helped win a few free-kicks from promising areas in the second, but that was just about it. Terrible performance after Monday’s heroics. 

Roberto Firmino (4.0) –

Bobby’s being a menace with his clever diagonal runs forcing defenders out of their comfort-zone. But after that spark, he turned extremely quiet in the second half. Couldn’t get a single shot away and looked disorientated at times before being subbed for Minamino. 

Substitutions

Adam Lallana (6.0) –

Charged up Liverpool’s attack after coming on. Struck the bar in the 66th with a brilliant left-footed strike.

Divock Origi (4.5) –

Just as lacklustre as his fellow frontline stars on the day. 

Takumi Minamino (N/R) –

Amped up the energy levels but couldn’t influence anything positive. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Not a single Liverpool player gave a “good” performance today. Lallana looked pretty nice in his little cameo. But, Ismaila Sarr’s undoubtedly today’s MOTM. Ran Liverpool completely ragged and played influence in every single goal. 

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Uttiyo Sarker

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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