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Watford 3 Liverpool 0 (Feb 29 2020)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

So there it is then. It had to come eventually and I can’t say I’m massively surprised that it came away at Watford. I was certainly shocked at the manner of it, but this was always the type of game that we could easily lose if we weren’t at it. And we weren’t at it. Not one player was.

 

The performance was just wretched from start to finish and Watford thoroughly deserved their win. We’ve had quite a few of these types of performances but usually we’ve turned it around in the second half. For once, the second half display was even worse than the first. Klopp said 3-0 was a bit harsh on us but I disagree. It could easily have been worse.

 

There was nothing acceptable about the performance. Every player performed badly and when that happens you’ve basically got no chance. Most teams struggle when they have five or six off the pace but we've been able to overcome that. Eleven though? The only way you can survive that is if the other team are as bad as you. Unfortunately Watford's players were terrific.

 

We had one shot on target, from Robbo in the first half. Other than that the only time we went close was a half volley from Lallana that hit the outside of the post. The defensive side of the game was just as bad. Watford scored three but could easily have had six, despite losing their best player to a horrible looking knee injury in the first half. 

 

It was just a proper shite performance at both ends of the pitch and it was an unfitting way for the run to end. Going through the entire season unbeaten was always unlikely, even at this advanced stage with on;y eleven games to negotiate. Between Champions League and possibly FA Cup commitments (if we can get past Chelsea this week) it was going to get harder and harder to stay unbeaten because with the title wrapped up Klopp was going to have to do much more rotating to ensure his strongest line up was fresh for the other competitions.

 

So I thought going unbeaten was going to be a tall order, but equally I expected that if we did eventually lose it would be a blood and thunder, throwing everything at the opponent and just narrowly missing out type of loss. I didn’t imagine for one second that we’d get spanked, but spanked we were.

 

This had nothing to do with bad luck, contentious refereeing or anything else. We were just well beaten and were second best all over the park. Watford won every single individual battle. Every one. Not one of our players can say he had the better of his opposite number.

 

 

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Good perspective there Dave. I live in the Midlands and saw us get tanked several times at Coventry in the 70s - not to mention a 5-1 loss to Villa in December 1976. Can’t be helped.

 

Agree, that Atletico looks like it will be a severe test. Last time we played them in 2010 it went to ET didn’t it....and they scored in the very last minute to go through on away goals..

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Good report.

Can't be doing with the scapegoating nonsense. Shithouse behaviour of the lowest sort.

Everybody was shite. It happens. We'll still win the League and, hopefully, do the chavvers and the Madrid nonces and life'll roll on its merry way

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Good stuff, Dave. Bad as he was, some of the Lovren stuff after the game was a bit unedifying. Hendo used to get plenty of the same after bad performances up to recently.

 

On the minus side, I'm hearing Eddie Howe will be pinning this column up on the wall next Saturday.

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I think there’s a lot more on that Bournemouth game than people realise.  It’s an irrational fear but we are Liverpool fans.  We are so far ahead but the run of league games after that is Palace, Everton then City.  If by some miracle or freak sending off/injury Bournemouth beat us at Anfield things will start getting very nervy in those games.  These are not normal times and the cheats are capable of winning 11 on the bounce.

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19 minutes ago, The Guest said:

I think there’s a lot more on that Bournemouth game than people realise.  It’s an irrational fear but we are Liverpool fans.  We are so far ahead but the run of league games after that is Palace, Everton then City.  If by some miracle or freak sending off/injury Bournemouth beat us at Anfield things will start getting very nervy in those games.  These are not normal times and the cheats are capable of winning 11 on the bounce.

It's not entirely wrapped up yet. We still need 4 wins from our last 10 matches.

 

Two disasters at home to Bournemouth and C Palace and we might still need 4 wins, but now from our last 6 with ManCity having closed the gap from 22 to 7 points (if they win their game in hand).

 

Really hope we don't do a repeat next league game against Bounemouth. It could get nervy.

 

 

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The Lovren stuff should be it’s own article for ESPN or something as it needs to reach a wider audience.  There’s a load of good points in there that I don’t think people even bother to consider.   He’s probably the most mentally strong player we have in the team alongside Henderson.

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Cannot believe the reaction after one loss, unbelievable. Look on the bright side, if we lost the league from this position we may as well fold as a club.

We got to this position by being the best, let’s just go out and show it.

We match any team for effort and concentration then even when we’re not at our best which as happened a lot this season we will win. Hopefully getting this unbeaten shite off our back will loosen us up.

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2 minutes ago, VERBAL DIARRHEA said:

Cannot believe the reaction after one loss, unbelievable. Look on the bright side, if we lost the league from this position we may as well fold as a club.

We got to this position by being the best, let’s just go out and show it.

We match any team for effort and concentration then even when we’re not at our best which as happened a lot this season we will win. Hopefully getting this unbeaten shite off our back will loosen us up.

Yes, this. God knows what people would be like if we were say just 2 or 3 points in front of city. But like Ive always said, I never thought we'd be winning the league by 22 or 25 points. The landscape may change enormously after the Atletico game. With the unbeaten run ended, if we get past Atletico I fully expect Jurgen will utilise his squad more as he closes in on the title and tries to steer us to another CL final.

 

If we go out to Atletico and, at this point, I think if we arent out of this run of poor form, we're going to struggle, then, he doesnt have quite the same pressure. Unless the nervy crew turn up at Anfield for the crucial league games.

 

People dont seem to realise how the unease and nerves in the crowd transmits to players. Ive seen top Liverpool players not want the ball when some of the crowd get on their back. And that goes back to the 80's teams.

 

We've won league games this season before Watford that we probably should have lost. Realistically, you can only get away with that so many times.

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2 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

Yes, this. God knows what people would be like if we were say just 2 or 3 points in front of city. But like Ive always said, I never thought we'd be winning the league by 22 or 25 points. The landscape may change enormously after the Atletico game. With the unbeaten run ended, if we get past Atletico I fully expect Jurgen will utilise his squad more as he closes in on the title and tries to steer us to another CL final.

 

If we go out to Atletico and, at this point, I think if we arent out of this run of poor form, we're going to struggle, then, he doesnt have quite the same pressure. Unless the nervy crew turn up at Anfield for the crucial league games.

 

People dont seem to realise how the unease and nerves in the crowd transmits to players. Ive seen top Liverpool players not want the ball when some of the crowd get on their back. And that goes back to the 80's teams.

 

We've won league games this season before Watford that we probably should have lost. Realistically, you can only get away with that so many times.

I used to sulk for a week in the 80’s if we lost.

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Dave that's a fair-minded thought provoking couple of paragraphs about Lovren there.  Well done.

 

NEGGED

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Generally in this game there wasn't much in it but Watford won because they made less mistakes than us.  Usually we don't make those types of mistakes but the big concern for me is that we aren't really creating a lot at all. 

 

Some of that is on the front 3 but where teams are setting out to defend deep in numbers both against the forwards and the full backs we need someone in midfield to offer something both in energy and creativity.  That's just not happening at all.  Fabinho has struggled since his injury and both Keita and Ox have stunk the place out recently when asked to fill in as well.  If Curtis Jones plays well at Chelsea tomorrow then he has a proper stake for picking up that role at the weekend too as there's nobody else there standing out at the moment.

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I've been saying for weeks that Jones should be getting a little taster here and there because he does things that our other midfielders don't. He can beat a man, provide a creative spark in and around the box and he scores goals. 

 

Saturday was a case in point. Lallana hasn't played since.... I don't even know, Everton maybe? ... whereas Curtis is playing every other week for the 23s and absolutely lighting it up. Then there's Minamino. What has he done so far to be getting game time over Jones? 

 

The Chelsea game is massive for Curtis because if he plays well in that then there is no justification for him being behind those players. It's down to him now really. The chance is there to stake a claim, hopefully he takes it.

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Mentioned a similar point to Dave in a topic a few weeks ago , that it seems to be okay with referees these days to not challenge for a header , but just push the opponent while they are in the air. That arsehole at Burnley has basically built a career around this and backing into defenders and hurling himself forward when there is any contact.

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36 minutes ago, dave u said:

Klopp was good today talking about Lovren I thought. Said a lot of the same things I did, only not quite as well!

Jurgen has much to learn. 

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I heard today: Last time we lost in the league by 2+ goal margin was that Spurs 4-1 game.

 

Spot the similarly comical performance?

 

Incidentally, I agree: everyone was atrocious. And it's been coming without him. But Lovren is a magnificent catalyst...

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