Liverpool are back in the hunt for the top four with a solid result away to Watford! Emre Can’s stunning bicycle kick earned the Reds a hard-fought victory but was it enough for him to earn Jack Hallows man of the match award? 

Simon Mignolet: 7 – Made a very good finger tip stop to deny Capoue from distance in the second half and dealt brilliantly with a number of crosses and high balls flung into his area late on. Looks far more confident between the sticks these days.

Nathaniel Clyne: 7 – Didn’t manage to offer huge amounts going forward but was solid as ever on the back foot. Kept a high position for much of the game but couldn’t find huge amounts of space around the back of the Watford wing backs.

Jöel Matip: 7 – Another good showing from the Cameroonian who kept Deeney quiet the entire evening. Used the ball well at times and a late venture forward saw him one on one with the keeper and although the angle was tight he probably could’ve done better. Got the job done, though.

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Dejan Lovren: 7 – After his absolute ‘mare against Palace last weekend it was nice to see he’d recovered for this 90 minutes. Kept things simple throughout and looked to just throw himself in the way, clear the ball when necessary and play the easy pass when he could.

James Milner: 6 – Was the most suspect of the back four defensively while providing precious little going forward. Too often guilty of his usual reliance on cutting back onto his right foot and was figured out early on. Crossing and set pieces weren’t of a good standard.

Lucas Leiva: 7 – One silly little moment of madness where he dived in the Watford area and earned himself a yellow aside, Lucas genuinely had a very good game.

The Brazilian sat in front of the back four and shielded well whenever Watford looked to break while also making a number of smart interceptions to keep the home side pinned back in their own half. Lovely ball for Can saw him register his third assist in his last seven games.

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Gini Wijnaldum: 6 – Another one of those away games where Wijnaldum just did what he had to do, no more and no less. The Dutchman broke up Watford’s counter attacks smartly and looked to carry the ball forward but provided an alarming lack of threat in the final third at times. Looked a bit of a passenger if I’m honest.

Emre Can: 8 (Jack‘ & Twitter’s Man of the Match) – He’s been our best player – alongside Coutinho and Mignolet – over recent weeks and that certainly didn’t change at Vicarage Road.

Another general-like performance saw Can crunching into challenges, foraying forward with ease and of course, providing the match-winning moment of magic with a sublime finish. Someone, please hand this man a new contract. Well done Emre. Well done.

 

Philippe Coutinho: N/A – Forced off after sustaining what looked to be a thigh injury in the first 10 minutes. Worrying but Klopp allayed fears of lengthy lay off during his press conference when he confirmed that it’s just a painful dead leg.

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Roberto Firmino: 6 – A frustrating evening for the Brazilian who was forced to station himself very wide by the Watford defence in an attempt to draw out one of their back five and create room for Origi. Played a couple of nice balls round the back of the defence and his usual neat touches were there but all in all a disappointing performance.

Divock Origi: 6 – A 15 minute period towards the start of the second half aside, Origi was really poor tonight. His hold up play was hugely hit and miss while he failed to register a single shot on goal from inside the opposition area. A long range curler was all he could muster to test Gomes and he could only manage to slow Liverpool’s play down rather than helping it flow.

Substitutes:

Adam Lallana: 7 – Was seriously unlucky not to score one of the goals of the season when he let a left-footed volley fly in the first half only to see it smack against the crossbar. Looked understandably rusty at times – especially in his passing – but it was a positive showing for Lallana and reinforced just how much the Reds miss him when he isn’t playing.

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Daniel Sturridge: N/A – Given 10 minutes to stretch his legs and forced a very good save from Gomes with a lethal effort late on.

Ragnar Klavan: N/A – I didn’t even realise he’d come on, to be honest.

Manager:

Jürgen Klopp: 8 – Could’ve brought Sturridge on a little earlier to chase a second goal given Origi’s struggles but once again, another tough away game, another three points for the Reds.

Liverpool set up smartly with Lucas instructed simply to remain with the centre backs as a screen, negating any chance of Watford counter attacking and it was clear the manager had done his homework. He’ll be hoping just as much as we are that Coutinho’s injury doesn’t develope into something more serious.

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