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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Victory Over Watford

With a victory Watford in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.

Watford v Liverpool - Premier League
Craig Cathcart, being sent for The Echo.
Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

As phenomenal as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool has been in recent years, you still don’t get many days like today. Despite an early kick off? Despite coming off an international break? Despite missing key players due to injury and international travel restrictions? Despite a potential new manager bounce? These Reds had no time for your narratives, and ran absolutely riot over Watford, leaving with a 5-0 win and all three points.


Winners

Mohamed Salah

Despite losing the Premier League Player of the Month to some player who is well past his prime for “reasons,” Mo Salah continued his scintillating form. The Egyptian King is playing not like the best player in England, or Europe, but like the best player on the planet. The vision and ability to pull off the pass for the first goal—an outside of the boot, 40-yard, curling and perfectly weighted pass into Sadio Mané’s stride—is just unreal. It would’ve been criminal of Mané to not score, which we thankfully don’t have to worry about.

And then he did the thing he’s been doing quite a bit of this season, scored a stunning goal. The goal put Mo on 104 Premier League goals for his career, tying Didier Drogba’s record for an African player. And it put Mo on 10 goals for the season in as many appearances. Long may this form continue!

Clean Sheets

After a string of solid defensive performances, the Reds gave up three to Brentford and two to Manchester City in their last two Premier League outings. Watford hardly got a whiff, and when they did, one of Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, or Caoimhin Kelleher was there to snuff out the (short-lived) danger. It bodes well, especially in the absence of the best defensive midfielder and best goalkeeper.

Liverpool’s Attack

It would seem rude to not mention the other two attackers, especially since one of them got, you know, a fucking hat trick. It wasn’t Bobby Firmino’s best performance of his career, but it was the biggest middle finger in the air to any detractor who moans about his goal production. He was exactly where he needed to be for all three of his tap-in goals, and sometimes just being in the right place at the right time is all you need as a striker.

Meanwhile, Mané did well to finish the big chance created by Salah for the opener, choosing instead to spurn a big chance when we were already up by four goals. Much better order, that. The goal also gave him 100 for his Premier League career, and only the third player to reach the century mark without the benefit of a single penalty.


What Happens Next

Now our focus returns to Europe, where Liverpool have a chance to take a resounding 5-point lead over everyone else in the group with just 3 games gone. They will face an always-tough Atletico Madrid, and it’ll be especially challenging on the road. It will likely be their toughest match of the group, so any result would be huge for their chances of qualifying for the knockout rounds. And they’ll get a chance for some long-overdue revenge after Atletico knocked them out in the Round of 16, just before the lockdown.

In the league, Liverpool travel to Manchester United next weekend. Not a big match at all, right? Although the other team from Manchester is our primary concern for the title, United under Ole Gunnar Solskjær have been frustratingly good about raising their level to take points off Liverpool or other top teams.

Big, big week.


How The Manager Reacted

On Salah’s current form:

“Yeah he is, for sure, one the best in the world now. It’s obviously not for me or whatever to say who is the best. For me, he’s the best. I see him every day and that makes it more easy for me, but Mr Lewandowski is out there, [Redacted] still scoring like crazy, Messi still putting out performances on a world-class level, Mbappe and all these kind of things and others will come. But, yes, in this moment he is for sure on top of that list.”