Premier League

Player Ratings: Watford 3-3 Liverpool

 • by Andrew Gibney
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In the first Saturday game of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign, Watford grabbed an injury-time equaliser to draw 3-3 with Liverpool.

Mohamed Salah followed in Roberto Firmino’s lob to give the Reds a lead that had looked unlikely for large parts of the game, but Miguel Britos’ close-range finish – with a hint of offside – earned the home side a point.

Salah scored on his debut, both teams continued the example shown by Arsenal and Leicester City by refusing to defend and both Marco Silva and Jürgen Klopp have a lot of work to do this summer.

And we’ve rated the players’ performances at the Vicarage Road. If you agree or disagree, tweet us at @FB_Whispers.


Heurelho Gomes

Not a lot the Brazilian could have done for any of the goals. Left in no one’s land for Firmino’s lob that set up the third. Hard to conceded three and come out with pass marks, he did make an excellent save from Dejan Lovren’s header to keep Liverpool from scoring a fourth. 5

Daryl Janmaat

The Dutchman started really well, keeping track of Mané’s runs, but had to come off early due to injury. 5

Miguel Britos

Miguel Britos of Watford scores his sides third goal past Simon Mignolet of Liverpool

The Uruguayan defender was all at sea for Salah’s goal. He played Firmino onside, couldn’t get back in position to stop the threat and Liverpool were able to spark the killer blow. That was all forgotten when he popped up for the late equaliser 6

Younes Kaboul

Undoubtedly the better of the two Watford centre-backs defensively. The Frenchman was commanding and aggressive, making a game high 10 clearances, but still conceded three times. 6.5

José Holebas

Salah was a constant threat down the Liverpool right, but without a strong performance from Holebas, it could have been much worse for the Hornets. He finished the game with four tackles, three interceptions and eight clearances. 6.5

Nathaniel Chabolah

A tale of two halves from Watford and in the first Chabolah showed exactly why Marco Silva signed him permanently. He chased and pressed the ball brilliantly, showing he has already taken on a lot of the Portuguese coaches teachings. More to come from the Englishman 6.5

Abdoulaye Doucouré

An energetic spark in the Watford midfield. He made a name for himself as a box-to-box midfielder in France and you could see that in his game on Saturday. It was his desire to chase the ball into the box that helped him score his team’s second. 6.5

Tom Cleverley

Played his part in the second goal, but his influence disappeared as the second half rolled on and Watford needed someone to hold on to the ball and reduce Liverpool’s threat. 6

Nordin Amrabat

He had a few good touches throughout the match, but failed to make anything of a memorable contribution in the game. 5.5

Ricardo Pereyra

Playing his first game since December 2016, Pereyra showed what the Hornets had been missing. He brings a creative spark and nearly helped Okaka open his account before he actually did. However, it was a bad sign when he had to limp off early in the second half. His absence could be a huge blow for Silva. 6

Stefano Okaka

Stefano Okaka of Watford celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Nordin Amrabat of Watford

A great target-man performance from Okaka. He managed to score a great header to put his side ahead and his movement and presence were enough to help create the second. 7


Kiko Janmaat for Janmaat (18′): Did well at right-back after coming into the game cold to make his debut. You will never stop Liverpool’s attack for the full match, but he gave a good account of himself. 6

Richarlison for Pereyra (49′): Settled quickly into life in England, made a good impression of himself on his debut and played his part in the equaliser. 6.5

Andre Gray for Okaka (63′): Only touched the ball nine times, tough time to come on and didn’t make much of an impact. 5


Simon Mignolet

Another shaky performance from the Belgian goalkeeper, he could have done better in the scramble for the home side’s second and for the late equaliser. 4.5

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Looked comfortable in the role. Did the defensive side very well, ending the game with four tackles, three interceptions and four clearances. However, you don’t get the same threat in the final third as Clyne. 7

Joel Matip

The more stable of the two Liverpool centre-backs. Good and calm on the ball, he makes a huge difference when on the pitch. No one covered themselves in glory for Watford’s second, but he recovered well. 6.5

Dejan Lovren

Although the play zonal marking, Lovren was completely at a loss to see Okaka wander past him and then go unchallenged for the opening goal. You at least need to block the run, or do what you can to challenge him. Great pass for the third goal, but needs to be stronger at the back 6

Alberto Moreno

Still has a mistake in him, but the Spaniard had a decent performance at left-back. Tackled well, got in decent positions and showed he can perform at this level. 6

Gini Wijnaldum

The Dutchman had one good chance to score, but apart from that it was a mostly forgettable performance from Wijnaldum. Liverpool need someone to be more commanding role, especially away from home. His weak header caused the problems for the equalising goal. 5.5

Emre Can

Good protective performance for the German. Not afraid of the fight and helped back-up the defence. Showed his attacking side with a wonderful touch in the second half. 6.5

Jordan Henderson

Only Mignolet (16) made more long passes during Saturday’s game (15), but with Watford pressing and defending well in the first half, Liverpool needed a little more creativity. The Englishman also got lost for the second goal and needs to cover much better than he did. 6

Mohamed Salah

A constant threat in the Watford half. His pace makes him a menace for the defence and that’s what won Liverpool the second half penalty. The Egyptian also did very well to chase in Firmino’s lob to score on his debut.

Led the Reds in five shots, there is definitely more to come from the 25-year-old 7

Sadio Mané

Sadio Mane of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Watford and Liverpool

The one Liverpool player who looked to take the game head on in the first half. A moment of magic got his team back in the game, bursting through the yellow back-line to score a great right-foot shot. 7

Roberto Firmino

Despite scoring a penalty, it was a quiet game for the Brazilian forward. The pressure of wearing the Liverpool No.9 could have weighed him down in the opening 45 minutes. Made a great run for Salah’s goal and made two shots and two key passes once he got going. 7


Divock Origi for Firmino (81′): N/A

James Milner for Salah (86′): N/A

Jose Gomez for Alexander-Arnold (91′): N/A

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