Premier League

Liverpool 2-0 Watford: Player ratings as Reds notch 10th successive Premier League win

Toby Cudworth
Jota nipped in to score the only goal of the game
Jota nipped in to score the only goal of the game / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Liverpool climbed to the top of the Premier League table, albeit temporarily, after a comfortable 2-0 win over Watford in Saturday's early kick-off.

The Reds weren't at their brilliant best at Anfield, with Watford more than in the game throughout, but they broke the deadlock after 22 minutes through the irresistible Diogo Jota.

The Portuguese forward headed past Ben Foster after a delicious ball into the box from Joe Gomez, capitalising on some sloppy defending from Kiko Femenia in the process.

Watford could quite easily have taken the lead before Liverpool's goal, as Roy Hodgson's side had a number of decent efforts in the first 20 minutes.

Ismaila Sarr volleyed over the bar from long distance before Alisson made a smart save in Liverpool's goal following a glanced near-post header from Cucho Hernandez.

Juraj Kucka should really have given Watford the lead after he was sent through one-on-one with Alisson soon after, but the Brazilian's save allowed Liverpool to go straight up the other end and open the scoring; Gomez's cross very reminiscent of what Trent Alexander-Arnold usually delivers from the right flank.

Watford had another glorious chance early in the second half, but Joao Pedro fired wide of Alisson's far post after good work from Sarr - his reaction to missing the target evidence that he should have done better.

Liverpool had to dig deep, with their players clearly fatigued from their international exploits, but they were gifted a second goal late on after Kucka conceded a senseless penalty with a few minutes remaining.

Fabinho stepped up to slot the ball into Foster's top corner, assuming duties from 12 yards after Mohamed Salah had been withdrawn with 20 minutes to go.

The result put Liverpool two points clear of Manchester City, who reclaimed top spot later on in the day with a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.


Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Joe Gomez
Gomez was impressive at right-back / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 7/10 - Had to be alert on more than one occasion, keeping Cucho's header out smartly before denying Kucka - a save that would ultimately lead to Liverpool's opener at the other end.

Joe Gomez (RB) - 7/10 - Delicious Alexander-Arnold-like cross into the box gave the onrushing Jota the simplest of headers. A good showing from a player with a point to prove.

Joel Matip (CB) - 6/10 - Not at his best as Watford enjoyed a surprising amount of efforts on Alisson's goal.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 6/10 - Given the odd problem by the movement of Joao Pedro and Sarr, though looked his usual composed self at all times.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 6/10 - Marauded up and down the left but lacked the usual accuracy associated with his many crosses into the box.


2. Midfielders

Jordan Henderson (CM) - 7/10 - Helped Liverpool gain control of the midfield battle after a strong opening from the visitors.

Curtis Jones (CM) - 6/10 - Handed a rare Premier League start thanks to Fabinho's international exploits, but withdrawn just past the hour after appearing to pick up a niggle.

Thiago (CM) - 8/10 - Technically excellent, dictating tempo from deep and playing a number of fizzing, accurate passes. Top drawer performer.


3. Forwards

Diogo Jota
Diogo Jota was the man again for Liverpool / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Mohamed Salah (RF) - 5/10 - There's not many games involving Mo Salah that he doesn't really influence proceedings, but this was one of them. International disappointment with Egypt will have played a part but still surprisingly quiet.

Roberto Firmino (CF) - 6/10 - Provided the midfield-attack link that Jurgen Klopp craves, allowing Thiago the space to pop balls through the lines and Jones to advance. Clever player but careless at times.

Diogo Jota (LF) - 8/10 - Always a threat drifting in from the left, and opened the scoring with a terrific header at the near post - fabulous cross from Gomez.


4. Substitutes

Fabinho (61' for Jones) - 7/10 - Brought on to help Liverpool gain control of the game, something he did after dispatching his late penalty.

Sadio Mane (69' for Salah) - 6/10 - Similarly ineffective as Salah, no doubt because of huge international mileage.

James Milner (90' for Thiago) - N/A

Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Konate, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaz


Watford player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Hassane Kamara, Mohamed Salah
It was a good day for Kamara against Salah / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Ben Foster (GK) - 5/10 - Perhaps a little harsh to criticise Foster for Jota's goal, as it's unlikely he could have stopped it. That said, not a great look to come out punching fresh air.

Kiko Femenia (RB) - 5/10 - Made the fatal error of not following Jota's run, which in turn allowed the Portuguese a free header past Foster.

Christian Kabasele (CB) - 6/10 - In the right place at the right time to clear a number of Robertson crosses into the box. Sucked too far over by the movement of Firmino to allow Jota the opening to score.

Samir (CB) - 6/10 - Made a number of ball recoveries and clearances to keep Watford firmly in the game.

Hassane Kamara (LB) - 7/10 - Did exceptionally well to keep Salah quiet, nullifying the threat of the Premier League's most feared marksman.


6. Midfielders

Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 5/10 - Plenty of running in the heart of Watford's midfield but very little quality offered.

Imran Louza (CM) - 7/10 - The best of Watford's midfield trio by far, both on and off the ball.

Juraj Kucka (CM) - 4/10 - Sent clean through on goal in the first half but his tame effort was saved by Alisson - Liverpool went straight up the other end and scored. Conceded a needless penalty to kill the game.


7. Forwards

Joao Pedro
Joao Pedro challenging Virgil van Dijk / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Ismaila Sarr (RF) - 6/10 - A bright spark on the counter attack, showing glimpses of why Liverpool have sniffed around him in the past.

Joao Pedro (CF) - 5/10 - Missed a glorious second-half opportunity to bring Watford level, sliding wide of the post after being put through one-on-one with Alisson.

Cucho Hernandez (LF) - 6/10 - Glanced a clever header at goal early on and showed plenty of endeavour.


8. Substitutes

Tom Cleverley (78' for Louza) - N/A

Josh King (78' for Joao Pedro) - N/A

Emmanuel Dennis (78' for Hernandez) - N/A

Subs not used: Bachmann (GK), Ngakia, Cathcart, Masina, Sema, Kayembe

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