Inspiring performances from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool register a staggering 5-0 win over Watford on Wednesday.
Liverpool maintained their slender one-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table, thanks to a stunning 5-0 win over a listless Watford side at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Coming on the back of a disappointing draw with arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday, the Reds started the game in an emphatic fashion when Trent-Alexander Arnold’s inch-perfect delivery from the right-flank found Sadio Mane, whose back-heeled finish inside the penalty area led to Liverpool’s opener.
The hosts continued to pile more pressure on the Watford defence, which looked shaky right from the start and it wasn’t long before Alexander-Arnold found Mane inside the box once again for Liverpool’s second of the night.
Although Watford did succeed to create a few opportunities after the restart, their lack of identity in defence allowed the Reds to maintain their dominance on the proceedings as a brace from Virgil van Dijk and a goal from Divock Origi were enough to down the Hornets 5-0.
We keep going! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/guoc50tjga
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 27, 2019
It was certainly a comprehensive attacking display from the home side while visitors Watford need to buckle up ahead of a tough schedule next month. Meanwhile, here are the Liverpool players rated from their gigantic win last night.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
Rarely tested for large parts of the game, but the Brazilian international reacted well when called upon, notably denying Andre Gray twice in the second half. Alisson certainly knows how to make clever use of his stature, which helped him keep his 16th clean sheet of the campaign – more than any other keeper in the league this season.
Trent-Alexander Arnold: 10/10
A comprehensive display from the England international upon his return to the starting lineup. Indeed, 20-year-old offered additional attacking support in the final third while staying fairly resilient during defensive stances.
However, it was his inch-perfect crosses that caught the eye on the night as Alexander-Arnold was involved in three of Liverpool’s five goals against Watford – making him one of the effective players on the pitch.
Joel Matip: 8/10
The former Schalke defender was resilient at the back and denied Gerard Deulofeu from getting much freedom in the final third. In addition, he also made a crucial block to deny a goal bound effort in the second half, helping Liverpool keep their clean sheet.
Virgil van Dijk: 9/10
A formidable defensive display from the Dutchman, who prevented the likes of Troy Deeney and Deulofeu from making any inroads into the penalty area. His aerial prowess was effective on both ends of the pitch, with the former Southampton defender scoring a late brace that added more gloss into the scoreline.
Andrew Robertson: 9.5/10
While Alexander-Arnold made a huge impact from the right-back slot, Robertson was influential on the opposite flank, notably securing two assists.
The Scot was relentless throughout the course of the game, often making incisive runs into the Watford backline or switching the play onto the other side while his sumptuous cross during the final minutes of the game found van Dijk for Liverpool’s fifth goal of the night.
It was a disciplined performance from Fabinho, who controlled the midfield throughout the entirety of the game. The Brazilian international neutralized a host of counter-attacking opportunities for Watford with his excellent tackling while also initiating a lot of turnovers in midfield that helped Liverpool maintain their dominance over the visitors.
Additionally, Fabinho’s intricate passing and excellent positioning allowed his midfield partners, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner to be more expressive in attack.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 8/10
Wijnaldum was responsible for easing Liverpool’s transition from midfield to attack, thanks to his immaculate control on the ball. The Dutchman also recovered a lot of loose balls in midfield and his aggression tuned in well with Liverpool’s approach against the Hornets.
James Milner: 8/10
Milner played a free-flowing role in midfield, and was often seen dropping back in defence to help out the defenders in the build-up play while also making driving runs into the final third. Made way for Jordan Henderson during the final phase of the game.
Mohamed Salah: 9/10
Following a disappointing performance against Manchester United, Salah tormented Adam Masina on the right flank, with the Watford full-back having no answer to the Egyptian’s mazy runs on the far side.
In fact, Salah was almost untouchable, at times and looked menacing whenever he had the ball. But, it was his combination with Alexander-Arnold that completely annihilated the Watford backline, especially the wide players.
Divock Origi: 8/10
After being drafted into the starting lineup, in the absence of Roberto Firmino, Origi made quite an impact with his willingness to take on defenders around the penalty area while also impressing with his hold-up play.
Origi scored his second goal of the campaign when he contained the pressure from three Watford defenders to slot the ball into the bottom left corner, scoring Liverpool’s third goal of the night.
Sadio Mane: 9.5/10
Mane was proactive throughout the game, often looking to breach the Watford backline with his direct runs into the box. However, it was his excellent finishing that helped Liverpool dominate the game right from the start, especially for the opening goal, wherein the Senegalese showed excellent craft to pull off a back-heeled finish.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
Replaced Milner in the 70th minute as Jurgen Klopp opted to add fresh legs into the Liverpool midfield. Henderson added protection for the backline during the final phase of the game.
Adam Lallana: N/A
A 78th-minute replacement for Mane, but the English international had very little time to make an impact on the proceedings.
Naby Keita: N/A
Returned from illness as he replaced Wijnaldum with just six minutes left on the clock.