This is what is normally classified as a “professional” win. It was a 3-0 victory for the Reds resulting from a clear gulf in quality between a talent-laden Liverpool side and an upstart Watford that made up for what was a muted performance from the visitors.
Second half goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino bookended a magnificent Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick as Jürgen Klopp’s squad dispatched their hosts in decisive, even if not emphatic, fashion.
“I know you always expect perfection, but we had exactly one session to prepare,” Klopp said after the match.
“We needed to focus on the specific quality of the opponent. We had to stay stubborn.
“It wasn’t a brilliant first half, but it was still good. The first goal was brilliant, the second a world-class free-kick.”
It was a decidedly different affair than the last time these two sides met when the Reds ran riot to the tune of 5-0. That comparison between last year’s free-scoring Liverpool that finished fourth in the league and this season’s more pragmatic, less-exciting title challengers also addressed by the Reds boss:
“[No] Liverpool supporter wants another result or another performance, the German manager continued. “I know a few people miss one or two situations from last season.”
“But in similar games last season we were not that convincing—it wasn’t clear that we controlled the game.”