WATFORD 0-3 LIVERPOOL – PLAYER RATINGS
Liverpool put further pressure on Manchester City for the premier league’s top spot after a pivotal away win at Watford, with Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino scoring the goals.
ALISSON (6.5) – The game started with a rather lackadaisical pass from Alisson into the centre of the park for a Watford attacker to latch onto and, luckily, not to find the target. However, a fine save to deny Roberto Pereyra with the score at 0-0 kept Liverpool from falling behind. All in all, another clean sheet in the bag for the Brazilian after a rather pleasant afternoon, racking his tally for the season to 12 in all competitions.
ANDY ROBERTSON (7) – I’m not too sure if Andy Robertson has stopped running since his days at Queen’s Park. The Scot showed why the Liverpool faithful adore him, especially during his willingness to sprint onto the end of a Gini Wijnaldum pass with the score already at 2-0, before playing it on a plate for Sadio Mane, whose shot was saved, but that’s not the point. Not enough praise can be given to this man.
DEJAN LOVREN (7.0) – A man who has been in the headlines of late for his off the field antics with Sergio Ramos gets in the headlines now in a more positive manner for a truly solid performance. Important blocks and a potentially goal saving slide with the attacker waiting to pounce allows me to give a more than deserved rating of 7.5. The Virgil Van Dijk affect, possibly.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK (8, MOTM) – After an emphatic goal for the Netherlands mid-week, VVD once more put it a world class show into how to defend without particularly having to strain a muscle. The ‘Rolls Royce’ styled defender made a total of 8 clearances and won every aerial duel (11) whilst achieving a pass completion rate of 88%. Is it time for a team of Virgil Van Dijk’s?
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (7.5) – After a run of below average performances for the youngster, TAA seemed to break the chain with a vastly enhanced game. Starting off with a few wild touches, you feared that it could be another ‘one of those days’ for Trent but after this short spell he really came into his own down the right flank, distributing the ball nicely. Oh yeah, he scored a fairly decent goal too…
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (6) – Unfortunately for Gini, his first half wasn’t the best, with the best way of describing his display as being rather ghost-like, as he seemed to be involved in just about nothing. In all fairness however, Wijnaldum managed to help see out the game, keeping possession admirably throughout the second half. If I was to describe Gini Wijnaldum as a school grade, he would definitely be a C.
JORDAN HENDERSON (4.5) – I have to say, I look at Jordan Henderson in a positive way. However, there really wasn’t much to be positive about during this game for the captain. Sideways passes were a key role in steadying the red’s ship over the duration of the match but the sheer lack of quality in playing some ambitious over the top balls to the right side hindered his performance. The red card late in the game was a sign of genuine unprofessionalism as he stupidly bodied an incoming Watford player. I think the term ‘lost his head’ suits Hendo nicely.
XHERDAN SHAQIRI (6) – The little Swiss has of been late been one of our most influential players, with some key contributions during recent games and it looked like he was going to continue this form as he was proving to be a nuisance down the right hand side. A lovely ball into Sadio Mane was perhaps a highlight for Shaq. Yet as the game went on, his impact seemed to drop a little, before being tactically substituted for James Milner.
ROBERTO FIRMINO (7.5) – Playing in a slightly changed No 10 role for Bobby, he continued to prove that his hold up play is up there with some of the world’s best attackers. Annoyingly, this meant that during the first half he was unable to incorporate himself into some of the attacks, meaning that our attack was much less threatening. This completely changed going into the second half with a standout ball to Sadio Mane who found Salah for our first goal followed by a poacher’s header to round off the scoring whilst also ending a goal drought. That goal is absolutely imperative in restoring his confidence going into the derby next Sunday.
SADIO MANE (7) – Following on from his midweek contract signing, relieving every Liverpool fan around the globe, Sadio Mane had a good game. A clever run into the box meant that Sadio was able to find Mo Salah in the middle and open the scoring. In the dying embers of the fixture, Mane was unfortunate not to grab a goal of his own, as his high and powerful shot was saved by Ben Foster.
MOHAMED SALAH (7) – For a ‘one season wonder’ Mohamed Salah is doing fairly well for himself this season, netting his seventh league goal during a productive start to the campaign for the Egyptian. The lack of space for Salah meant that his influence was lessened but another vital goal meant that Liverpool were able to start enjoying the game, rather than just battle for an opening goal. Watford fans must be sick at the sight of him by now.
By CAMERON WILSON, Twitter – (@cam1wilson)