In a night were the team kept a clean sheet, scored five goals, and two players—Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk—had braces, it’s amazing that the standout player was the right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
While there were phenomenal performances all over the pitch, Trent’s three assist performance—making him the youngest player in Premier League history to achieve the feat—rightly merited plaudits from fans and pundits alike.
Alexander-Arnold’s teammates were equally impressed, and Mane was full of praise for the young fullback after the match.
“Trent made a very good cross and I was in the box, I was a lucky boy and I scored,” Mane told the club’s official website, “It’s one of [the most adventurous goals I’ve scored], yes!”
Those deliveries, two to Sadio and one to Big Virg, were fantastic. The vision and ability to play those balls has been something that Liverpool has sorely missed during TAA’s injury spell. If he can remain healthy for the run-in, it will massively improve Liverpool’s chances to continue picking up three points week-in and week-out.
“But the most important thing is the three points and we got it, so I’m happy,” Mane continued. “It was my first time since I came to Liverpool I played centrally. I always said I’m here for the team, so I try to play any position the coach asks me to play to help the team.
“We started fast in the game, we moved quickly with and without the ball and created many chances. We scored five goals and we deserved the win.
“The team was fantastic, everybody played well. It was the key.”
It’s true. Liverpool outclassed Watford from the go, and there was only ever going to be one winner. Of course, fantastic deliveries and finishes made easy work of it.
It won’t always be that easy. Watford were more than happy to play an open game, and were punished accordingly. But to put in that performance on a night when several key players did not start, is an encouraging sign.
And maybe, just maybe, this isn’t the last we’ll see of Mane up top. Just a hunch.