Liverpool 2-0 Watford: Player ratings as Jota rises high and Fabinho continues scoring streak

Don Kopleone rates the Reds as they successfully navigated a tricky lunchtime tie to continue putting pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

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I often disagree with the idea that results are more important than performances. Performances are, after all, a barometer for future results, and a team who wins ugly all the time is likely to struggle in the long term.

But, at this point in the season, and playing the notoriously difficult Saturday lunchtime game following an international break, the result really was all that mattered for Liverpool today.

Jürgen Klopp’s side hosted Watford, with the visitors looking far more competent than they did in the reverse fixture, when Roberto Firmino scored a hat-trick in a 5-0.

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That said, the away side offered little threat for the most part, and Diogo Jota opened the scoring with a free header.

The Reds exerted more control in the second-half, especially after Fabinho was introduced to proceedings, but could not add to their lead until late on.

At that point, a rugby tackle from a set-piece was spotted by VAR, and it was the Brazilian who stepped up to double the hosts’ lead.

Liverpool go top, albeit maybe momentarily.

Here are your ratings:

Starting XI

Ali 7.5 – Important first-half save from Kucka.

JoGo 7.5 – The absence of Liverpool’s No.66 was hardly noticed with the impressive display from Gomez. His crossing was sublime and proved to be the key to the opener. Very impressive until an erratic last 15 minutes.

Joel 7 – Sound. Fumed after getting nutmegged, which was funny.

Big Virg 7 – Also sound, and also Virgil.

Robbo 6.5 – Impressive until he reached the final third.

CJ 5.5 – Flatters to deceive on so many occasions. Came off early in the second half with what looked like a foot injury.

Hendo 6 – Very wasteful on the ball in the first half, but was better after the break.

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ThiaGOAT 7.5 – The key to Liverpool’s progressive play, as he so often is when fit. Not quite at his dominant best but still man of the match.

Mo 6 – Not in his best vein of form and looks frustrated. Needs a goal or something else to boost his confidence sooner rather than later.

Bobby 7 – Showed the most consistent quality of Liverpool’s starters. Could have done better in a couple of promising late situations, though.

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DioGOAL 7 – As is the case most weeks, the Portuguese was not as involved as you would want but showed some delightful movement to break the deadlock.

Subs

Fabs 7.5 – Liverpool’s midfield improved with the Brazilian’s introduction. Penalty was perfect.

Sadio 6.5 – Almost through on goal once or twice.

Mily N/A – Missed the chance to take the penalty by about 30 seconds.


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Don Kopleone

Scouse, not Sicilian.

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