Liverpool travelled to Vicarage Road and absolutely wiped the floor with Watford. It was a chastening defeat for new Hornets boss Claudio Ranieri as the Reds tore into his side time after time. Roberto Firmino netted a hat trick as Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah also found the scoresheet to condemn the Italian manager to the heaviest Premier League defeat of his career. We take a look at some random thoughts post game.

° Quick start. Mané had put us 1-0 up by the 10th minute mark in the first half, with Salah also hitting the crossbar (albeit Mané was offside in the build up). In the first 10 minutes of the second half, we had scored twice to make it 4-0 to wrap up the game. An explosive start was obviously the plan, and Salah mentioned post match, their aim to not repeat the slow start vs City. Watford were blown away early on in both halves and didn’t know how to deal with all the red shirts flying at them.

° High line. Even with the threat if Ismaila Sarr’s pace in behind, Liverpool backed themselves and set up with a high defensive line. This allowed the midfield to push up to press with the forwards. Life was squeezed out of Watford at every turn as the Reds dominated possession and quickly won it back anytime they lost it. By halftime, Watford had only registered 17% of possession, with no shots attempted.

° Hat trick Bobby. The Brazilian reminded everyone, that false or not, he’s still a number nine, with three tap ins to notch a hat trick. Firmino had struggled in the first 40 minutes of the game, with too many passes going astray, probably a sign of rust as this was just his second start of the season. The goals coloured up the performance and he also got an assist similar to the one Jones got vs City. Just pass the ball five yards to Mo and let him work his magic.

Roberto Firmino scored the second hat trick of his Premier League career

° Number 2. Kelleher is quietly going about his business as a number 2 for this side. He’s come in for a few games since last season (notably against Ajax, Wolves and Watford yesterday) and he’s gone about his business with minimum fuss. If you overlook the 10 goals he conceded in that mad 5-5 Cup game vs Arsenal, and the 5-0 thrashing at Villa with the U23s as the senior team were at the Club World Cup, he’s only conceded 3 goals in 9 appearances, keeping 6 clean sheets.

° Quietly effective Sadio. It will go under the radar with the sizzling form Salah is in, but Mané is enjoying another brilliant start to the season. He always starts the season strongly and he’s now scored 5 goals in 8 PL appearances, taking him almost halfway to the 11 he managed last season, and we’re still in October. Keep this up and he’ll also force the club to think long and hard about his contract (his also expires in less than two years). A century of PL goals without a single penalty. Take a bow.

° Keeping Sarr quiet. Watford’s danger man cut an isolated figure upfront. He had the least touches (31) of any player to complete the 90 minutes as Matip and Van Dijk kept him quiet. Often times when he threatened to get going, the disciplined offside line halted any progress. He tore Liverpool to shreds in that 3-0 win two seasons ago with two goals and an assist but this time around, he was frustrated and blunted. He only came alive in the last 15 minutes when the game was already done and Liverpool had taken their foot off the gas.

° Phenomenal Pharaoh. Salah utterly and completely tormented Danny Rose. The Egyptian laid on a frankly ridiculous assist for Mané and then scored after a mazy run himself (and no I didn’t just lift this sentence from the City game). He was unlucky not to score more than once as Ben Foster did well to tip two curlers away at full stretch. We’re seeing Salah hit the very top echelons of the game right before our eyes. He’s a level above anything in the Premier League, and long may it continue.

Salah wheels away in celebration after another wonder goal

° Goals galore. Liverpool are the topscorers in the PL this season, with 22 goals in 8 matches. They’ve also become the first English side to score 3+ goals in 7 consecutive away games. Most of these away games have come against teams with packed defenses so it’s a delight to see Klopp’s men finding so many goals. All six forwards are off the mark already, with Salah, Firmino, Jota and Mané boasting an astonishing 25 goals in all competitions between them. We’re not lacking for firepower that’s for sure.

° Title race. We still lie a point behind Chelsea in the table, after they escaped with all three away to Brentford despite the hosts hitting the woodwork three times. City lie a point behind us whereas we now lead United by 4 points. Beat them next week and we’ll go 7 clear of them and put them out of the title conversation whilst piling even more pressure on Solskjaer. Chelsea though remain serious contenders.

They do seem to have a harder time against low blocks but they get away with it as they are very solid defensively and can defend a lead till the cows come home. City’s only weakness is their lack of a true finisher. Too many chances went begging again against Burnley and they were lucky to go in 1-0 up at the break with the Clarets missing some big chances of their own. We’ll go blow for blow with Chelsea and City the whole season I’m sure and it’ll be epic to watch. On to the small matter of Atletico now.



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