Watford 3 Liverpool 3: Player Ratings
Liverpool returned to normalcy against a lower half team by dropping points in the dying seconds of the game. Liverpool woke up from their slumber in the second half to take the lead after trailing twice during the game.
This is how the Reds fared
Simon Mignolet (4.5) – An error filled performance from the stopper in the season opener. His reluctance to claim the ball for Watford’s opener was baffling. His distribution continues to be a source of worry. Made a good save late in the second half, but was left scrambling for their third goal. Needs to pull his socks up.
Trent Alexander Arnold (5.5) – A generally solid performance from the youngster, who was deputizing for Clyne. Showed willingness to attack the ball in the forward areas and was prepared to get the ball into the box. He took a couple of excellent corners, both of which should have ended at the back of the net. His clearance for their second goal should have been a lot better.
Joel Matip (5) – An error filled performance from the usually reliable Matip. The centre-back pair struggled on every set piece and was generally a step behind, indicating he was not up to the pace of the game. He ‘shouldered’ the ball onto the crossbar, in one of the many chances Liverpool failed to capitalise on.
Dejan Lovren (4.5) – Enough articles have been written on his deficiencies, and yet we saw all his weaknesses in a single game. The lack of decisiveness meant that he was never close enough to his man, allowing the opposition to by-pass him quite easily. Positionally suspect, he was bullied by Gray once he came on in the second half. His shot on goal was well saved by Gomes. Also delivered a gorgeous ball to Firmino for Liverpool’s second goal.
Alberto Moreno (6) – The best of the defensive bunch, though that isn’t saying much. Rewarded with a start on the back of promising performances in pre-season. Clearly has tightened up his defensive positioning. Would be harsh to blame him for their second goal, as he had a valid shout that he was fouled. His forward play has always been exciting, and had an audacious effort at goal tipped over the bar by Gomes.
Jordan Henderson (5) – A relatively anonymous performance from the skipper as he returned to the Premier League after a long hiatus. Delivered couple of excellent cross field passes, but that was it for the whole game.
Emre Can (6.5) – A solid performance from Emre in the midfield. Had a slow start as Liverpool struggled to impose their superiority, but gradually grew into the game. His imperious flick closed out a great team move for Liverpool’s first goal. Involved in the best individual moment of the game, where he casually controlled an aerial ball and embarked on a run , only to be fouled.
Giorginio Wijnaldum (5) – A below average performance as he struggled through-out the game. Was anonymous in the first half. Missed couple of gilt-edged chances in the second half, which Liverpool would go on to regret about.
Mohammed Salah (7) – His second chance in the Premier League and a debut goal for Liverpool. On another day could have easily had a hat-trick as he struggled with his decision making when on goal. Did not get many opportunities to show his outright pace, but did win the penalty which was converted by Firmino. Better opportunities ahead for more goals.
Roberto Firmino (7.5) – Another goal for Liverpool’s new No.9, this time from the penalty spot. Was excellent in the second half which Liverpool dominated. Showed his awareness by his attempted chip over Gomes which was bundled in by Salah eventually. Showed his calmness in slotting in the penalty.Worked tremendously hard as usual. Was lackadaisical in his marking as Okaka sauntered in to score their opening goal.
Sadio Mane (7.5) – Mane returned after a long injury break and it seemed like he was never away. He initiated and closed out a gorgeous team goal for Liverpool’s opener. Easily adjusted to his new position on the left side of the attacking trident.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino, 81′) – N/A
James Milner (on for Salah, 86′) – N/A
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, 91′) – N/A