Liverpool 2 - 0 Watford
Liverpool: Jota 22’, Fabinho 89’
Liverpool finally return after the March international break to take on Watford. No one loves an early kick-off after the international break, least of all Klopp, so hopefully the Reds will pull something together. The interesting midfield trio of Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, and Jordan Henderson start the game. Meanwhile, Sadio Mané starts on the bench with Diogo Jota in his place. It’s good to see Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench, even if he won’t make an appearance.
The first half began rough as both teams struggled to wake up and find their feet. The first few minutes were a bit of a runabout in the midfield, with Liverpool controlling the ball and Watford soaking up pressure and trying to break on the counter. So as to be expected of a game against a Roy Hodgson team, but it was up to the Reds to find a way through.
Six minutes in, Watford nearly played their game perfectly, but luckily Ismaila Sarr’s effort on the break sails over the bar.
20 minutes in, Joe Gomez reminded Klopp of just how good he is with a fantastic, decisive cross into the box. A charging Jota barrels through the scrum to get his head on it and nod it into the net for the first goal of the game.
For the moment, Liverpool have jumped to the top of the table.
Robertson nearly got his own assist for Jota later, but Ben Foster makes the save to deny him his brace, at least for the time being.
Thiago doing good things in the midfield, anchoring the defense and powering the attack in his spot in the midfield. Regardless, the Reds couldn’t find another goal and chances were few and far between. They go into the tunnel ahead 1-0.
No changes for the Reds as they entered the second half of the game. Liverpool start off with a couple of wishful long shots, one from Jones and the next from Jota. Neither of them even came close to troubling Foster in goal.
Liverpool earned a corner in the 56th minute. The delivery came in and van Dijk got a head on it, but sent it high and wide. He should have done better there, but Liverpool still have not found their second.
On the other end of the pitch, Watford got their best chance of the afternoon, unsurprisingly on the break. Sarr somehow kept his run onside — though VAR would have been involved, should they have scored — and sent it to Joao, who thankfully shanked it wide of the bar.
Liverpool made their first two changes, with Mané coming in for Salah, and Fabinho replacing Jones. Neither player had a great game today.
It’s not until the 87th minute that Liverpool receive their next substantive opportunity, in the form of a penalty after Jota was rugby tackled to the ground in the box. Salah was off the pitch, so Fabinho came and buried it home to secure the win.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool, Liverpool top of the league! This was a match worthy of its 12:30 time slot after an international break, but the Reds did what needed to be done, secured the three points, took away another clean sheet, and leap frogged Man City to the top of the table. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Who is Liverpool’s man of the match against Watford?
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