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On current form, Liverpool are nigh unstoppable. Against Watford today they started their customary six midfielders up front—and two more in defense—and thrashed their opponent 6-1. Liverpool had 17 shots on target, the most in the Premier League in seven seasons, which doesn’t count the three that hit the woodwork.

Watford didn’t play poorly, exactly, they were just shredded to ribbons by Liverpool’s ever-morphing collection of attacking midfielders. Two goals came from headers, two goals came from perfect square balls deep in the box, one goal came from the now trademark Philippe Coutinho top of the box shot, and the final came from a tap-in after the Watford goalkeeper spilled a save. Five of the six front players were directly involved in the goal scoring, plus two substitutes.


There has been, is, and will be plenty of handwringing about Liverpool’s leaky defense. Watford clawed one back in this match, and probably should’ve had a second. And it is true that the other title contenders have stouter defenses, just as its true that Liverpool have a more fearsome attack. But a 1-0 win isn’t any more virtuous or worth any more points than a 4-3 victory, and besides, Liverpool are scoring so many that it’s mostly a moot point.

A few times this season Liverpool have been stymied by opponents parking the bus, and that’s something they’ll encounter throughout the season. One of the more encouraging signs, then, is that they’re increasingly scoring goals from set pieces and with their heads. They’ll never be a side that leans heavily on crossing the ball into the box, but the attack is becoming more varied.

The victory vaulted Liverpool to the top of the league, as Arsenal and Manchester City both drew this weekend, with the second best goal differential and most goals scored. And with a soft upcoming schedule—they don’t play another top four contender until mid-December—the feast of goals should continue.

Reporter at the New York Times

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