In early 2020, Liverpool lost their first domestic match of the season traveling to Watford. This time, they want revenge and are also looking to get back to the top of the Premier League with a win. Jurgen Klopp’s side achieved both with a dominant 5-0 win to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
The Reds started the game in emphatic fashion, taking the lead in the 9th minute after Sadio Mane finished off an exquisite move in style.
Liverpool added another in the 37th minute when another brilliantly crafted move was scored by Roberto Firmino. LFC were in cruise control in the first half, dominating 82% of the possession & absolutely outplaying the hosts in every department.
Firmino then got his second in the 52nd minute – pouncing on a defensive mistake with a clinical #9’s finish. Mo Salah then got into the act two minutes later, leaving Watford’s defenders in tatters before producing an exquisite finish to make it 4-0!
Bobby then got his hattrick in the 91st minute, scoring another clever tap-in to finish a 5-star performance from Liverpool. The Reds absolutely steamrolled over Watford and gave new manager Claudio Ranieri the worst possible welcome gift. LFC are now back at the top of the table and continue to get better & better!
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Watford
Jurgen Klopp (9.0) –
Klopp was handed a difficult early KO fixture after the international break, but he got everything spot on today. His decision to start Firmino over Jota paid off handsomely, with the Brazilian scoring a hattrick. Even his subs were spot on today and he ensured LFC completely dominated the game.
LFC have now scored 3 or more goals in 6 consecutive away games. That itself is proof of how Klopp has this side buzzing again. Will aim to maintain this momentum for the big games against Atletico Madrid and Man United over the course of next week.
Caoimhin Kelleher (7.0) –
The young Irishman gets his first away start for Liverpool and is chosen over Adrian. Makes his first save in the 56th minute, a rather simple one. Pulled off an excellent save to parry Sarr’s powerful shot onto the bar in the 84th. Did well to earn his clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.0) –
Trent is back after recovering from his injury over the break. Looks to be back in his groove and makes a fantastic pass to send Salah through on goal in the 20th. Stuffed a sloppy shot wide from a decent area almost immediately after the second half started. Then another shot was deflected barely wide of the post in the 64th. Replaced afterwards following a solid return from injury.
Virgil Van Dijk (7.5) –
Coming off a nice international break, Van Dijk looks very sharp and is dealing with the pacey Ismaila Sarr’s threat really well. Put in some clutch challenges to deny Watford and won about everything in the box to keep things quiet.
Joel Matip (7.0) –
Matip’s bullying the Watford forwards with his physicality and played a part in setting up the opener. Worked well with Van Dijk to nullify Watford’s attacking threat and dealt well with their pace all game long.
Andy Robertson (7.5) –
Robbo is at his electric self at the left, causing chaos with his forward runs and also did a great job nullifying Watford’s supply through his wing in the first half. Played a brilliant cross which caused Watford’s defence to make the error – leading to Firmino’s second. Kept things under control on his side through the first-hour – after which he was subbed with the big upcoming games in mind.
James Milner (7.5) –
Milner is playing in a more advanced midfield role and making encouraging forward runs. Played a brilliant one-two with Mane before cleverly assisting Firmino’s goal. Put in a lot of defensive work and even played as a right-back for some time in the second half before being subbed.
Jordan Henderson (7.0) –
Hendo played a big part in helping LFC absolutely dominate proceedings, pressing down the Watford midfielders brilliantly to regain possession and moving the ball around really efficiently. Put in a discreet, yet really effective performance from midfield.
Naby Keita (7.5) –
Keita will be given the creative role to help create chances for his forwards today. Worked hard to keep the ball moving forward in the first half and hit the bar in the 42nd with an ambitious volley from afar. Then hit another over the bar in the 69th. Got in the right attacking areas all game long and helped create chances – while also putting in a shift defensively.
Sadio Mane (8.0) –
Mane gets his 100th PL goal for Liverpool by coolly swatting away a chance from close range. Helped set up Firmino’s goal with an exquisite cut-back to send Milner through into the box. Hits a scruffy volley-attempt wide in the 61st. Should’ve gotten his second 10 minutes later but shockingly put an open-goal chance wide. Mane looks to be back to his lively best – having now scored 2 goals in consecutive games.
Roberto Firmino (9.5) –
Bobby gets a start ahead of Jota. After having a quiet first half, gets his goal with a simple tap-in from close range after being in the right place at the right time. Found himself in the right place again in the 52nd, cleverly finishing from close range into an open net. Gets a fortunate assist for Salah’s strike minutes later.
Deserved another assist in the 71st, after brilliantly stealing the ball off Danny Rose and picking out a perfect pass into the box – only for Mane to scuff his finish. Got a well-deserved hattrick towards the very end, cleverly tracking and tapping in Williams’ effort.
Mo Salah (9.5) –
The Premier League top-scorer is buzzing from the get-go, tormenting Watford defenders with his clever movement into the box. Sets up Mane’s goal with an incredible pass using the outside of his left foot.
Nearly gets his goal in the 12th – but his attempted curler was parried away really well. Manages to get through on goal in the 20th, but a sloppy touch allows Ben Foster to clear the ball away. Got some space to attempt another clever curler in the 49th, but that was saved too.
Having seen both his attacking teammates having scored, Salah said ‘I’ll do it myself’, dancing past multiple Watford defenders before perfectly slotting to the ball into the top corner. Mo was absolutely unplayable on the day. Definitely the best player in the world right now.
Kostas Tsimikas (6.0) –
Put in a hard-working effort in the last 30 minutes, getting into some prime attacking areas and being defensively stable.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.0) –
Helped keep up the attacking intensity for Liverpool through the end and moved the ball forward really well.
Nico Williams (7.0) –
The young right-back got a well-deserved assist for Firmino’s third, after brilliantly breaking into the box and finding him with a shot-cum-pass.
MAN OF THE MATCH
This is a difficult one between Firmino and Salah. Both were excellent today. But Mo played at a different level altogether on occasions. He gets the MOTM for his exquisite goal and assist.