Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho were underwhelming as a sub-par Liverpool side were handed a 3-0 trouncing by Watford on Saturday.
Liverpool looked surprisingly sub-par right from the get-go, with Watford creating the better of the chances, even as the visitors hogged much of the possession. The Hornets came pretty close to breaking the deadlock in the first half, but had to wait till the 54th minute to take the lead, when Ismaila Sarr put them in front after some horrible defending by the Premier League leaders.
That is when Liverpool completely spiralled, as Sarr added another goal before Watford Troy Deeney completed the humiliation to seal the 3-0 win. While this defeat is unlikely to cause any problems in Liverpool’s pursuit of their first Premier League title, the Reds continued their poor run of form post the winter break. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 5/10
This was one of those games in which Alisson appeared to be rather silly due to his extravagant style. The Brazilian made a couple of illogical decisions when Watford scored their second and third goals. The Liverpool no. 1 did make a couple of decent stops, but having also appeared to be poor with the ball at his feet, this was a rather forgettable outing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4/10
Much like Alisson, and the rest of the Liverpool side, Alexander-Arnold had a game to forget. The young full-back had very little to show for in way of end product, but it was at the back where he was well and truly overwhelmed.
Right from the get-go, Gerard Deulofeu caused him all sorts of problems before the Spaniard had to be taken off injured. Things hardly improved after Roberto Pereyra came on and Alexander-Arnold made a catastrophic mistake in the lead-up to Troy Deeney’s goal. Will hope to get over this disaster soon.
Dejan Lovren: 4/10
A surprise starter at the heart of the Liverpool defence, as Joe Gomez missed out due to injury. The Croat looked incredibly rusty and failed to get to grips with the pace of the game. While he was not directly at fault for any of the three goals Watford scored, Lovren was ragdolled by Deeney all game long, which pulled him out of position and sold the other defenders short.
Virgil van Dijk: 4/10
That Liverpool were tormented for despite having the bulk of the possession was thanks in part to the way van Dijk struggled to organise the backline. Was directly culpable for one of the goals that Watford scored, allowing Ismaila Sarr to drift past him for his second while also failed to cover up in the build-up to Sarr’s first. Assured in possession as always, but it hardly amounted to much.
Andrew Robertson: 4/10
A horrible evening for Robertson, who was way off his best levels on Saturday evening. Going forward, the Scot came close once, but was otherwise lackluster with his deliveries. Defensively suspect all game long as well and was completely switched off when Sarr scored his first goal. Quite a nightmare.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6/10
Quite easily the best of all the Liverpool players. Oxlade-Chamberlain was a bundle of energy in the middle of the park and showed a lot of purpose when looking to connect with those in front of him. Put in a shift defensively as well, and it was rather surprising that he was taken off just past the hour mark.
Things just aren’t clicking for Fabinho since his return to action. The Brazilian was once again vulnerable in the middle of the park and was overrun with ease by his Watford counterpart. Time and again, the Brazilian failed to keep a track on Abdoulaye Doucoure and was caught napping for Watford’s first. Needs to step up big time.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
As is typical of him, Wijnaldum was an industrious presence in the middle of the park. The Dutch international can not be faulted for a lack of effort. However, he was overwhelmed a bit too many time when Watford took the game to Liverpool. Also, for a game in which Liverpool dominated the possession, it was perplexing as to how little Wijnaldum was involved on the ball. A rare blip.
Mohamed Salah: 4/10
Quite a monumental failure for Salah, who never really got himself into the game. That he was part of the attacking unit that could not even muster up a shot on target speaks volumes about how bad he performed in the evening. However, that was not the lowest point of a horrendous evening, as he had an atrocious passing rate of 57.7 percent. Truly a horrible evening for Salah.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
Typically busy in trying to harry the Watford defenders, Firmino worked his socks off on Saturday. However, the Brazilian was not able to get the job done, as the centre-backs remained disciplined and thwarted him well. Hardly involved otherwise, getting just 31 touches on the ball. Ineffective.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
Mane was the best of the front three, but that hardly says much when the entire attack was dreadful. Mane showcased some great ideas going forward and had a decent passing accuracy of 79 percent. However, Mane could not even muster up a single shot on goal. As frustrating a day as they come for the Senegalese, who saw compatriot Sarr run riot on the opposite end.
Adam Lallana: 6/10
On for Wijnaldum, Lallana played with a lot of vigour and was involved a great deal. In fact, he was extremely precise with the ball at his feet, completing 96 percent of his passes. Even got in a couple of shots, but in the end, he could not make a definitive impact.
Divock Origi: 5/10
Origi replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain as Klopp looked to find a way to claw his team back into the game. However, the Belgian was rather listless in the final third and made no sort of impact during his time on the pitch, touching the ball just 17 times.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
A late introduction, Minamino could not do much for the final 10 minutes of the game.