Saturday saw Liverpool struggle to a hard fought victory against Watford at Anfield. The Reds ran out 2-0 winners in a narrow encounter that on a different day could have gone another way. However, this is Jürgen’s Reds we’re talking about here – they just always win. There is one obvious reason that Liverpool struggled to a win over Watford.
The first half was a slog, as it usually is when we kick off at midday. The Hornets threatened on the break with teasing crosses causing problems in the Liverpool area. With Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ismaila Sarr missing glaring opportunities it is safe to say that Alisson got off lightly with the saves he was forced into.
Mo Salah put nerves to rest to an extent when he impressively cut inside and finishing with his right foot following an incisive Liverpool counter that involved each of the front three.
The second half saw the lead doubled then immediately halved after Sadio Mane had a goal disallowed in incredible circumstances. Mo put matters to bed with a few minutes remaining when he flicked in from close range.
With the Hornets bottom of the table, many expected the Reds to steam roll through the fixture. Instead, Jürgen Klopp’s mean were met by a resolute defence and a threatening counter.
The Liverpool win over Watford was so hard fought because of that age old, unquantifiable boost that is the “new manager bounce”. There are two things you should never do in this life: never disclose how much you earn and never bet against a new manager.
The Reds are probably the only team that could have beaten Watford on Saturday. Nigel Pearson was appointed as Watford manager on the 6th of December and this was his first game in charge.
The new gaffer has evidently had an immediate effect on his squad. They were organised at the back and slick in possession going forward. Whether Watford can maintain this form remains to be seen but they certainly had a spring in their step at Anfield.