Liverpool defeated Watford on Wednesday night with an impressive display at Anfield. The Reds won 5-0 thanks to goals from Sadio Mane (two), Divock Origi, and Virgil van Dijk (two). The win keeps Liverpool in first place in the Premier League and improves their goal difference with Manchester City.
The Reds have Everton up next at the weekend. With the Merseyside Derby on the horizon, here are 3 things we learned in the Reds’ dismantling of Javi Gracia’s Hornets.
Divock Origi may still have life at Anfield
Jurgen Klopp deployed striker Origi out of his normal No. 9 position and on the left wing. Rather than Origi down the middle, Klopp opted for Sadio Mane to play as the team’s No. 9.
It worked with both players scoring on the night.
Origi looked incredibly lively. He was up and down the left wing tracking back and getting onto passes from Andrew Robertson.
The most impressive part of his play was Origi wasn’t afraid to challenge Watford’s right-back Daryl Janmaat. Origi was putting in crosses all night and his goal came after several stepovers and cutting inside.
His performance was not expected from the Anfield faithful one bit, but hopefully, it was a sign of things to come.
James Milner is great, please offer him a new contract
James Milner maybe 33-years old, but he is an indispensable player at Anfield. The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and thus far, few details over a new deal have been released.
The former Manchester City man has three goals and five assists in 23 league games. But Milner is so much more than goals and assists.
He can play multiple positions and his presence in the team is highly valued. There are rumours that Milner is interested in returning to Leeds United if they win promotion.
If he goes, he is a player that will be difficult to replace.
Mohamed Salah just isn’t clicking
It is difficult to believe Mohamed Salah isn’t in-form, but there is something that just isn’t clicking. It is most likely fatigue, but Liverpool have been away at warm weather training camps recently. So, it is conceivable he has had enough rest.
Salah had four shots with two on target while compiling a 79 percent pass success rate. He made zero key passes.
On the surface, his stats tell us he isn’t struggling, but the way in which Salah made no impact against Manchester United — and Manchester City before that — explains a different story.
Salah has scored just once against a top-six team this season (Arsenal on December 29th). His lack of goals and assists against top-six clubs should be more worrying than it seems to be.