Following a defeat to Newcastle and a point at home versus West Brom, this was a must win game if Liverpool are serious about challenging for a top four place. It went spectacularly wrong from the off, with Watford taking the lead after 3 minutes following more calamitous set piece defending. The final score of 3-0 could have been worse, as Liverpool endured a torrid afternoon against an impressive Watford side. In arguably our worst performance of the season so far, here’s how I rated our players.
Adam Bogdan- 2/10
Deputising for the injured Simon Mignolet, Bogdan had a chance to stake his claim for the number one spot, following the Belgian’s disastrous performance last week against West Brom. Instead, Bogdan proved to be even more of a liability, dropping a third minute corner from which Ake opened the scoring, despite claims of a foul. He was lucky to get away with another error soon after, punching a cross straight at Lucas. He did recover to some extent, making a couple of decent saves, but this was further evidence that neither Liverpool goal keeper is good enough for a team with top four aspirations. Thoroughly disappointing.
Nathaniel Clyne- 5/10
Clyne has been solid but unspectacular this season, but this was one of his below par performances. Despite receiving possession in plenty of space on numerous occasions, his use of the ball was sloppy and inaccurate, needlessly giving away possession and failing to contribute any real quality going forwards.
Martin Skrtel- 3/10
Only survived 41 minutes before leaving the pitch with injury, but already cost Liverpool a second goal as he failed to stop Ighalo who dribbled past him and scored with ease, as Skrtel allowed him far too much time and space. This is certainly a position in need of upgrading, as Skrtel’s defensive lapses are far too frequent.
Mamadou Sakho- 4/10
Returning from a knee injury after over a month out of action, Sakho was visibly rusty and gave the ball away in dangerous areas with some uncharacteristically careless passing. Ighalo made a fool of him on a couple of occasions, and he lost his footing when under no pressure to allow the striker through on goal. Not his finest day.
Alberto Moreno- 5/10
Moreno has been in good form of late, but struggled at times, finding himself in promising positions but being unable to find a team mate with the final ball. Had an excellent opportunity in the first half, slicing his shot wide from close range, before overhitting a cross with plenty of options to aim for. Also caught out of position on numerous occasions, leaving his left flank exposed.
Lucas Leiva- 4/10
Lucas had been in the form of his career several weeks ago, but his performances have dipped significantly in recent weeks. His passing was sloppy and he got caught in possession far too often, and was partly responsible in the build up to the second Watford goal. Failed to offer any real defensive security in front of the back four.
Emre Can- 4/10
Much like Lucas, Can was slow on the ball and lacked precision with his passing, only completing 75% of his attempted passes, just higher than Lucas’ 71%. Contributed very little going forwards and gave away several clumsy fouls, although he tested Gomes with a powerful strike from distance.
Jordan Henderson- 6/10
One of the very few Liverpool players who could walk away with any credit from today, Henderson showed the kind of fight and determination that too many of his team mates lacked. Played some excellent long range passes and came closest to scoring with a couple of well taken shots. Still gave the ball away too often, but was Liverpool’s most creative player.
Philippe Coutinho- 4/10
Showed glimmers of skill but generally this was a very quiet game for the Brazilian, as Coutinho was unable to unlock a well drilled Watford defence. Regularly outmuscled and dispossessed, Coutinho endured a frustrating game and was only able to create one chance in the 90 minutes.
Adam Lallana- 3/10
Despite his improved performances in recent months since Klopp’s arrival, Lallana proved totally ineffectual on this occasion. There is an agenda against him with a large number of Liverpool fans, which is mostly undeserved, but this kind of performance is exactly why he can be so frustrating to watch. Plenty of nice touches and slick turns, but no end product and too often slows down the pace of attacks by not releasing the ball quick enough.
Roberto Firmino- 2/10
Firmino’s best performances for Liverpool have been playing as a false number nine, as he did today, but here he was virtually anonymous, recording an abysmal 57% pass completion and failing to have a single shot on goal, whilst creating no chances either. Has failed to hit the heights of his standout performance in the 4-1 win at Man City- his lack of consistent contribution is becoming a concern for Liverpool fans.
Divock Origi- 6/10
Along with Henderson, Origi was one of very few Liverpool players to put in a proper shift for the team. Replacing Skrtel just before half time, Origi provided energy and movement up front, bringing Gomes into action with a good effort on goal in the first half. Ultimately unable to provide the breakthrough, but arguably deserves to start the next game.
Jordon Ibe- N/A
Only played the final 15 minutes but was relatively quiet and unable to change the game in Liverpool’s favour.
Christian Benteke- N/A
Like Ibe, Benteke’s introduction came too late to make a real impact but did little to ease concerns over his suitability for this Liverpool side.