A rampant Liverpool displayed “an example of how football should look” after comfortably beating Watford by five goals for the third successive season. Jürgen Klopp’s men dismantled a Watford team that had only been beaten once in their last eleven games, a ravenous performance which was intended as a warning to Manchester City.
Despite scoring five, it was Liverpool’s defence that ran the show. In his first game back from injury, Trent Alexander Arnold orchestrated the Reds sublimely gaining a hat-trick of assists from right back. “I’m just happy to be back,” Alexander Arnold exclaimed “It helps when you have players like Mane at the end of your crosses, it was a great performance all round.” Arnold’s third assist set up Virgil Van Dijk whose powerful header was his first of two similar goals. The Dutch centre backs second header was assisted by Andy Robertson who added two assists to his ever-growing tally this season. “Having a defence as good as ours is great,” said Jürgen Klopp, “it’s even better when they get involved with that many goals.”
Sadio Mane scored twice in the opening twenty minutes with the Senegalese winger’s second goal stealing all the highlights. After a poor touch in the box, Liverpool’s number ten redeemed himself with an audacious back heel effort which left Ben Forster stranded. “Yes it was a nice goal” Mane explained “I had to redeem myself after the touch, luckily it worked out.” Sadio Mane started as a striker for the first time under Jürgen Klopp, a decision which payed off exquisitely. “How he played in that new position was exceptional,” Klopp exclaimed, “you need in that position someone who can play in small spaces, who can give you runs in behind, who adapts to defensive situations. We have other players who can play that but not with the speed of Sadio.”
Despite a relentless Liverpool performance Watford’s Andre Gray was denied twice by Allison Becker. The English striker saw his volley from ten yards saved athletically by Allison’s outstretched arm to be tipped over for a corner, an important save to keep the Brazilians sixteenth clean sheet of the season intact.
All credit to Jürgen Klopp and his men for defeating a resilient Watford team who have only lost once in their last eleven games. With Manchester City also gaining three points at home to West Ham in controversial fashion the title race still only has a point’s difference with ten games remaining. Liverpool’s destiny is in their own hands.
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