Jurgen Klopp’s accurate assessment of Liverpool’s performance in 3-0 win at Watford

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Jurgen Klopp touched upon criticism of Liverpool’s change of style this season with two great points as he assessed Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Watford.

The Reds endured a tough first half at Vicarage Road, but eventually found their feet as goals from Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino secured the win.

This followed a similar vein to the majority of games this season so far, with Klopp’s side abandoning the free-flowing attacking football of last term.

Instead, they are sitting second in the table, with their best points tally after 13 Premier League games, by adopting a more pragmatic, efficient approach.

And speaking to reporters after the game, Klopp explained that, in encounters such as this—with Liverpool drawing 3-3 in the corresponding fixture last season—he had no other option.

In this game in particular, with the likes of Firmino, Alisson and Andy Robertson all returning late from international duty, he highlighted why this setup was essential.

“I know you always expect perfection, but we had exactly one session to prepare,” he explained, directly addressing outside perceptions of the Reds’ stylistic shift.

“We needed to focus on the specific quality of the opponent. We had to stay stubborn.

“It wasn’t a brilliant first half, but it was still good. The first goal was brilliant, the second a world-class free-kick.”

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 24, 2018: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This may frustrate fans during the game, but Klopp understandably concluded that, having sealed the three points, “[no] Liverpool supporter wants another result or another performance.”

“I know a few people miss one or two situations from last season,” he added.

“But in similar games last season we were not that convincing—it wasn’t clear that we controlled the game.”

While it can be argued that there is less excitement in watching Liverpool so far this season, they are certainly more effective.

It is just unfortunate that their main rivals, Man City, are producing such phenomenal form to keep them off the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning 4-0 at West Ham on Saturday.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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