|Image via telegraph.co.uk|
Liverpool had to walk away from Vicarage Road on Sunday afternoon with their heads firmly in their hands, which is more than can be said for the ball in Adam Bogdan's! The Reds got off to a shocking start after Mignolet's understudy began his first league fixture in disastrous fashion and things quickly went from bad to worse for Jurgen Klopp's side.
In a line up that lacked a recognised striker, it soon became evident that Liverpool were going to struggle to trouble the Watford goal whilst the likes of Deeney and Ighalo were immediately creating problems. After just two minutes, the home side got off the mark thanks in part to Nathan Ake but massively due to Adam Bogdan.
The corner flew into the box, Bogdan rose and I actually said out loud "well done Bogdan" or something to that effect because I thought he'd bloody caught it! But no, no he hadn't caught it, he'd dropped a simple catch and failed to retain possession on a second count as Ake made the most of the situation and put Watford in front. Some fans are questioning whether there was a foul on Bogdan due to the possibility of him having two hands on the ball but I just think that's a desperate cry for help, Watford took advantage of the situation and deserved the lead in my opinion.
The goal caught Klopp and his team very much off guard and unlike the majority of our away games under the new boss, the Reds seemed unable to string an attack together. Passing and possession was relatively good but there was no flair, no end product. Coutinho and Firmino who are usually lighting sparks all over the pitch were extremely uninspiring and it was Watford who led the play in terms of attack.
Just ten minutes after scoring their first goal, the Hornets had found the back of the net again. Ighalo this time broke through after some poor defending from Martin Skrtel. In fairness though, I also feel Bogdan once again has to take some of the blame because the low shot from that angle perhaps should have been dealt with better. Ighalo's effort however found the back of the net and Watford were now 2-0 up after just 15 minutes.
At 40 minutes Liverpool were forced to make a substitution when Martin Skrtel was replaced with Divock Origi. The injury to Skrtel created an inevitable change in defence and I personally feel Mamadou Sakho immediately began to suffer. Origi however brought a positive element to the game, he was making things happen and became a target for the rest of the team. Himself and Henderson for me were the only players really showing any sort of desire to get back into the game.
The second half began brightly for Liverpool mainly thanks to the addition of Origi but Liverpool could not find the back of the net. As the match trailed on, eventually at 70 minutes Jurgen Klopp opted to bring Jordon Ibe and Christian Benteke on. For me however this decision was left far too late. The favoured away line up of Lallana, Firmino and Coutinho up front works perfectly fine against teams like Chelsea and Manchester City who play openly and become exposed on the counter attack. It won't however, not in my opinion work against a side like Watford. For me, this is just part of the learning process for Klopp who is still adjusting to life in the Premier League.
At 84 minutes Watford put the final nail in the coffin after another goal from Ighalo. A lovely cross from Behrami found its way to Ighalo who headed his effort to the centre of goal.
It was a shocking game for Liverpool, the worst I have seen us play in a long while. Take nothing away from Watford though, they were brilliant and fully deserved the three points. Next up for the Reds is Leicester at Anfield on Boxing Day.