LIVERPOOL 2-0 WATFORD
Liverpool’s latest fixture at Anfield was yet another win for the home fans.
Another team in yellow and black came to visit us and were defeated, only this time it wasn’t Borussia Dortmund we were playing, it was Watford.
Some of the players who had worked so hard to qualify Liverpool for the Europa League Final were being given a bit of a rest, with several of young stars featuring in the squad for this game.
Adam Bogdan would even be named for the first time in many months, but only as substitute (an unused sub). Despite the fact that Sturridge has been having some great performances lately, he’d also only be substitute as Christian Benteke took on the responsibilities of a starting striker. Eight changes in total were made from the Europa League semi-final win over Villarreal but Liverpool would still look like a European giant. Out came the youngsters and they did not disappoint.
The weather our team would play in was significantly better than the pouring rain we had to play in during our fixture against Swansea recently. Blue skies, white clouds and sun hovered over Anfield as I watched Liverpool from the Kop.
We started well and were confident in our attacks, with Kevin Stewart passing the ball around the midfield like a seasoned veteran. Sheyi Ojo was seen making dangerous plays towards our opponents goal and Joe Allen worked so well with his teammates that he looked like a captain at times, though it was Lucas Leiva who wore the captain’s armband for this fixture.
Benteke would consistently attack again and again within the first half hour, having some promising opportunities to score at Anfield for Liverpool. He’s publicly expressed unhappiness at being at our club this season so I cheered him on and showed him my support as he tried his best to overcome that and still perform well for the fans. After the whistle, Benteke applauded the fans as we applauded him and I hope he felt happy from all the love from the home crowd. We appreciated his efforts and hopefully he realised that and can maintain a happier attitude which would undoubtedly increase his contributions on the pitch.
The first goal had an assist from Benteke, too. Liverpool made an attack that resulted in us scoring around the 35th minute.
Benteke headed the ball on over to Joe Allen who slid in to put the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net, making it Liverpool 1-0 Watford.
Liverpool were playing very confidently, though I admit to being quite nervous at playing this team which had defeated us 3-0 in late December, 2015.
Christmas time was their time to celebrate but we have gotten our chance to celebrate victory against them later in the season now.
Liverpool would keep their lead until the half time break at least and eventually would get that second goal which would settle nervous fans down and put it our of their mind that we would be losing or even conceding to Watford in this fixture.
Around the 60th minute, our manager replaced one Brazilian with another as Coutinho left the pitch and Roberto Firmino came on to play for the final half hour of the game. Firmino would prove to have a great impact on the game, so credit goes to the manager for not leaving him on the substitute bench for 90 minutes.
By the 76th minute, Firmino had already been seen attacking down at the Kop end of Anfield. This time, he received a ball from Sheyi Ojo and ran past the edge of the penalty area, made a little space to squeeze a shot in between two Watford defenders and under the goalkeepers hands, which couldn’t stop the ball from rolling into the net in front of the fans sitting (until they now were going crazy, jumping up and down and celebrating Firmino’s goal) in the Kop.
I wasn’t nervous any more. I felt relieved and now had a belief that Watford wouldn’t even score in this game, with about quarter of an hour to play.
Our defence at the back did well enough to prove this to be true and Simon Mignolet also deserves some credit for keeping yet another clean sheet at Anfield. He was forced to make some terrific saves during the game and without them, we’d surely have conceded and maybe even drew or lost the game.
Man of the Match?
Joe Allen showed leadership qualities as he “bossed” the midfield, helped his teammates around the pitch, won the ball from most tackles he’d make and even scored a goal for us in this game. While we did have another goalscorer in this game, Firmino didn’t spend nearly as much time as Allen did playing consistently well in addition to his goal. Allen went for the whole 90 minutes and we loved every minute of it at Anfield. He was the Man Of The Match.
Liverpool’s season continues and although we can’t claim a top 4 place any more, we still have two more Premier League games to play and Chelsea will be next to visit Anfield this coming Wednesday night in Liverpool.
I hope you enjoyed this victory, even if it was a little nervous at times. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.