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Watford (A) Match Report: Robert Nastase

12/08/2017

The start of the season and you could see it all coming. Same old and unless something changes dramatically over the next 2 weeks, it will be a long season.

Liverpool started the game retaining the ball possesion but conceded in the 8th minute after a Watford corner. The zonal marking was terrible leaving Okaka with one of the easiest goals he will score this season. The Reds struggled to get back in the game and couldn’t manage to create much until the 29th minute, when Mane’s magic was on full show.

Mane popped in midfield, exchanged couple balls with Moreno, cleverly left one for Emre Can and then clinically finished to equalise. Just 3 minutes later, Watford restored their lead after another calamity display in our defending, with Moreno nowhere to be found, Lovren and Matip both beaten and Trent Alexander not able to clear the ball. Doucoure was left with an empty net.

Mo Salah was close to score the equaliser in the 39th minute but the Reds went 2-1 down at half time. Liverpool showed more convinction coming out from the locker room and 10 minutes into the 2nd half, Mo Salah won a race with the Watford keeper Gomes and got tripped inside the box. Bobby Firmino equalised from the penalty spot with a cool take. Only 2 minutes later , Dejan Lovren finds Bobby Firmino on the counter and the Brazilian striker lobs the ball past Gomes, leaving Mo Salah with an empty net for the go ahead goal and Liverpool were 3-2 up.

Matip and Lovren missed 2 big chances to make it 4-2 after Trent Alexander Arnold delivered 2 perfect corners. Beside a dodgy moment between Lovren and Mignolet, Watford didn’t managed to create much despite putting some pressure in the final 10 minutes. That was until another corner came in the 93rd minute. Again, Liverpool zonal marking was all over the place and in the end, after Mignolet deflected the ball onto the crossbar, Miguel Britos scored from an offside position. It was a very unconvincing display from Liverpool , the Reds showed flashes of brilliance at times, but the same issues in the defence that have been ongoing for a long time and a lack of creativity in the midfield. Hoffenheim in 3 days and the Reds need to be much better than this in order to qualify to Uefa Champions League Group stages. Here are the ratings from a frustrating early afternoon at Vicarage Road that saw Liverpool drawing 3-3 against Watford:

Simon Mignolet 4/10 – Could have done better for their equaliser, not much to do for their first 2 goals. His distribution was poor and overall had a bad game.

Trent Alexander Arnold 6/10 – The only positive in our defence. Unlucky for their 2nd goal as his clearance bounced from Matip leaving Doucoure with the open net. Looks the first Liverpool player in ages that can take a corner.

Dejan Lovren 3/10 – Absolute shite. Played a very good ball in the build up to Salah’s goal but that’s about it when it comes down to positives. Hasn’t been good enough to be a starting CB for ages now, yet he’s still there.

Confusing joel Matip 3/10 – Absolute shite. Had a good intervention at one point in the 2nd half if you really want to talk positives. Should have scored from TAA’s great delivery. Supposed to be the better one alongside Lovren. Did not showed it today.

Alberto Moreno 4.5/10 – He was a good outlet going forward and he actually helped us. But he still can’t defend for his life and has no positioning sense whatsoever.

Emre Can 6/10 – Abysmal 1st half. At fault for their 1st goal and losing pretty much every ball in midfield. Manages an assist for Mane and one for Salah’s penalty. Which is not bad in terms of achievements, but his overall contribution during the 90 minutes was very poor.

Gini Wijnaldum 4/10 – Was he even on the pitch? Ineffective as always in the aways game. Part of a midfield 3 that can’t function together.

Jordan Henderson 5/10 – It looked like he tried way too hard and because of that the results weren’t the ones that he would have hoped for. Needs to organise the team much better for the last 10 minutes.

Sadio Mane 9/10 – Looks a bit like Alexis at Arsenal. 2 classes above everyone. Not sure he’s happy with that or if that’s a compliment to him though…

Mo Salah 7.5/10 – Needs to be more clinical. Missed a lot of chances but showed a lot of ability, scored a goal and got a pen. Can’t ask for much more from his debut. What a player we have in him.

Bobby Firmino 6.5/10 – Absolutely pedestrian for the 1st half and at fault for their 1st goal. Does his thing, slots in the coolest penalty and then manages an assist for what should have been the winning goal. Not good enough by his standards.

Divock Origi N/A – Beffudled that he was preffered ahead of Solanke

James Milner N/A – Not sure what he’s done, haven’t noticed him to be fair.

Joe Gomez N/A – The point in taking off a defender that had a decent game in the 91st minute to replace him with one that had a bad pre season is?

This article was written by Robert. Follow him on Twitter – @Robert_Nastase

 

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