Liverpool produced an abysmal performance as they were overrun by a relegation-threatened Watford, losing 3-0 at Vicarage Road as their unbeaten run ended.
Watford 3-0 Liverpool
Premier League (28), Vicarage Road
February 29, 2020
Goals: Sarr 54′, 60′, Deeney 72′
Alisson – 6 (out of 10)
Denied another clean sheet, but he could have conceded earlier as he spilled in the fifth minute of stoppage time after a quiet first half, only to recover and make one of a number of strong saves.
Could do little to keep out Ismaila Sarr’s opener, with a litany of errors from his defensive line allowing the winger to blast in from close range, and he was similarly stranded for the second and third goals.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5
Provided little in terms of accuracy in his delivery from the right, and played a shocking back pass to allow Sarr to play Troy Deeney in for Watford‘s third of the night.
Dejan Lovren – 4
Lovren was targeted by Deeney throughout, and he was too preoccupied by the static striker as he allowed a throw-in to bounce straight over him in the buildup to Ismaila Sarr’s first.
Deeney was clearly encouraged by how much joy he was getting in tussles with the No. 6, and it was a surprise that Jurgen Klopp kept him on.
Virgil van Dijk – 5
Without his regular centre-back partner, Van Dijk was given the challenge of organising a slightly different back four at Vicarage Road, and he was too cool on a night that demanded fire.
It was certainly not Van Dijk’s best performance, with the Dutchman among those culpable as the ball was worked across the box for Sarr’s powerful opener, and too lax on a number of other occasions.
Andy Robertson – 6
Showed tenacity and determination as he continually drove on down the left, and produced Liverpool’s only shot on target as he fired into the palms of Ben Foster early in the second half.
Was less disappointing than his fellow defenders at the back, but it matters little given the end result.
Fabinho – 4
This is a rare and unwelcome poor patch for Fabinho, who has been nowhere near his best since returning from a long-term injury; as slow mentally as he is slack physically.
The Brazilian was treading water for Sarr’s first, and showed a lack of desire as Watford forced their way through for his second.
Liverpool are clearly missing Jordan Henderson.
Gini Wijnaldum – 5
Did little of note, and his most prominent contribution came with an outburst as Will Hughes trod on him in the first half.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the brightest throughout as he weaved through a congested midfield.
He was perhaps unfortunate to have been substituted as Klopp sent Divock Origi on, with none of the front three contributed as much in the opening hour of the game.
A great touch as he consoled the stricken Gerard Deulofeu as he was stretchered off the pitch.
Mohamed Salah – 5
Barely touched the ball, and when he did he often found himself passing to an opponent: his accuracy of finding a team-mate was just 57.7 percent at the final whistle.
He also failed to hit a shot on target, having scored eight in his previous five outings against Watford.
Sadio Mane – 5
Was hailed as the “best player in the world” by Sarr ahead of the game, but had little opportunity to show that as he found himself marginalised throughout.
Roberto Firmino – 5
Buzzed between the lines in a busy performance up front, as the most effective of Klopp’s starting front three, but could do little to break through Watford‘s solid back line.
Adam Lallana (on for Wijnaldum, 61′) – 6
Showed good energy coming on in midfield, and struck the post with a long-range effort soon after coming on, but could do little to change the game.
Divock Origi (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 65′) – 5
A lacklustre substitute’s performance from the winger.
Takumi Minamino (on for Firmino, 79′) – 5
A thankless task for the No. 18 on his third outing in the league.
Subs not used: Adrian, Matip, Hoever, Jones
Jurgen Klopp – 6
The manager could not have anticipated such a poor performance from his previously unbeaten side, and there were few issues with his selection or his substitutions.
Klopp’s decision to opt for Lovren over Joel Matip was arguably the biggest flaw, as though the No. 6 has thrived in similar one-on-one battles in the past, he has struggled terribly in the same situations this season.