There was loads of intrigue within Liverpool’s midfield when they traveled to Vicarage Road for the match against Watford on Saturday. With Xherdan Shaqiri getting the start and Jordan Henderson’s two yellow cards disqualifying him from the Merseyside Derby (don’t talk to me about it, it still hurts), Georginio Wijnaldum was the one quietly doing Gini things to keep things level. Watford always presents a challenge for the Reds that they’ve managed to come out ahead of, and Saturday was no exception.
“It’s a massive win because it was a really tough game,” Wijnaldum told the club website following the final whistle. “They made it really difficult for us to play our football and find the gaps, find the free men and create chances.
“[In the second half] we just kept playing like we did in the first, but sped it up a little bit. We scored three goals, so it was a good game.”
The first half was particularly difficult to watch and thought to be already lost barely a minute in when Watford scored an opening goal, only to be ruled offside. From there it was an exciting back and forth battle with penalty shouts and fouls all over the place. It took 67 minutes for Liverpool to find an opening goal but Wijnaldum knew their persistence would pay off.
“It’s something we are doing better - keeping the patience because we have quality here,” the midfielder continued. “We will always create chances and need to be patient.
“We are still learning in that process and we did it quite well [at Watford]; we were patient and not getting frustrated because they were defending deep.
“You could see at the end we were creating more chances than at the beginning when they were fresh, but the longer the game went it was more difficult for them.”
The support was just as crucial to the win as the team themselves, as Wijnaldum credits the traveling supporters with helping him push the rest of the squad towards their ultimate victory. Especially when the crowd roared as he won a crucial corner for the Reds right in front of them.
“You know, in the moment when it’s really tough in the game, you always want that little bit of support and I have to say they did it quite well,” Wijnaldum continued.
“They didn’t need me to do that [gee them up] because they were supporting us from the first minute, so it’s always good to hear them and give you a boost in the game.”
The Reds are currently on their best ever Premier League run and will need all of that support heading into the Merseyside Derby next weekend to keep it going.