Even an ice cold blizzard couldn’t stop Liverpool from turning on the style against Watford on Saturday evening as the Reds cruised to a 5-0 win.
And what would a Liverpool win be without a flurry of goals from a certain Egyptian? Add to that a stunner from Roberto Firmino and there were plenty of positives to take for Klopp’s side ahead of the international break. Here are the observations from the match.
Yet more history made by Salah
Even the strongest of winds and most inconvenient of blizzards couldn’t stop Mohamed Salah from reaching new heights at Anfield. The Egyptian produced a scintillating individual performance, recording his first hat-trick at the club as his incredible goal scoring rate showed no signs of waning.
Scoring inside the opening five minutes of play, Salah danced his way past the Watford defence, embarrassing Britos and Holibas before guiding the ball into the corner to take his tally to 33 goals in all competitions. That saw him become only the third player to score over 25 Premier League goals in a single campaign for the club, following in the footsteps of Luis Suarez and Robbie Fowler.
His third goal was the pick of the bunch, leaving three Watford defenders in his wake with an intricate cut back before prodding the ball home. He even managed to fall over in the build-up to the goal, rounding off his hat-trick in superb, and rather amusing, style. An emphatic fourth was added for good measure too, with the Egyptian in pole position to scoop the Golden Boot at the end of the season after Harry Kane’s latest injury layoff.
A tally of 36 goals for the season sees him surpass Fernando Torres’ tally of 33 goals in his debut campaign on Merseyside as history continues to be made.
It’s been a long time since Liverpool have had a player like Salah; Suarez was probably the most recent example, able to produce a stunning moment of individual brilliance to spark a game into life and single-handedly win the points for the Reds. Now Liverpool have got themselves a new hero; one with equal skill and guile whose performances are being likened to Lionel Messi more and more.
Firmino surpasses his own brilliance
From an Egyptian to a Brazilian, Firmino, too, delivered a resounding performance at Anfield.
There can be no doubt that this is Firmino’s best season at the club, with a marked improvement made in direct goals contributions. He’s scored some real belters too – the no-look finish against West Ham where he nutmegged Adrian; the curling shot from a ludicrous angle against Huddersfield and the poacher’s goals in the Champions League. Then there are the assists, with a sumptuous flick against Southampton playing Salah through on goal in what will go down as one of the moves of the season.
This is art. pic.twitter.com/oVS90oEBJg
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) March 17, 2018
Yet on Saturday Firmino found a way to surpass his own brilliance. Fed by Mo Salah on the right-hand side, the Brazilian produced a stunning flick to guide the ball into the far corner, taking the no-look finish to a whole new level.
The game provided a perfect insight into the blueprint of Bobby Firmino – a defender, midfielder and forward all rolled into one. Relentless in the press, there were times when he would drop inside his own half to win the ball back. Then there’s his clear eye for a pass and increasing ability to score some truly outrageous goals.
For all Salah’s brilliance, one shouldn’t forget just how invaluable Firmino is to this Liverpool side.
Here’s to you Andy Robertson…
Left-back has been a problematic position for Liverpool for many years now, but that’s been well and truly solved since the arrival of Andy Robertson. The former-Hull defender produced another stellar performance to confirm his status as one of the bargains of the season, showing diligence when called into defensive action while posing a real threat in the final third.
This may be pushing it, but Andy Robertson’s the sort of transfer that everyone should celebrate. Shows it’s not all about paying premium fees. Spotting the right player, allowing him time, coaching him well still goes a long way.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) March 17, 2018
Registering an assist for Mo Salah’s second of the game, Robertson delivered a cross worth £8 million in its own right, with his pinpoint accuracy taking both the goalkeeper and centre-back out the equation. In an age where Manchester City splashed over £100 million on full-back recruits, Liverpool’s ability to offload Kevin Stewart for the same price as the signing of Robertson has to be one of Klopp’s best decisions.