By Martin Samuel of "The People."
Watching from the director's box, Steve McMahon's only comment was "very impressed." "And a bit worried, too !" would have been a more honest announcement. For Friday's 350,000 pounds signing from Aston Villa had just seen Jan Molby turn in the sort of performance that could keep him on the sidelines for a long time to come.
For it was Molby who is most threatened by McMahon's arrival. Yet it was Molby who virtually masterminded a victory over Watford that at one time looked impossible.
With Terry doing the most professional job on Rush that many observers had seen and Lawrenson having an uncommon nightmare at the other end against West, Liverpool looked set to suffer their first home defeat this season.
That was until two bizarre goals wiped the smiles off Watford's faces and proved that you've go to do more than work hard to get a result at Anfield. The first came from a hotly-disputed penalty when Gibbs brought down Nicol from Rush's through pass.
"I thought I had a fair challenge," complained Gibbs, "the referee saw it differently." Needlessly to say, Neal's spot-kick was expertly-placed. Then came the cruelest blow. Johnston's shot on the turn rebounded off McClelland's legs to flatfoot goalkeeper Coton and creep in near the right post.
Five minutes later, Rush made sure with a tap in from Whelan's header across goal. Whether Liverpool would have got the lucky breaks without Molby is debatable. The great Dane gave the midfield that extra fillip that many feel was so sadly lacking last season.
He never allowed his team-mates to fall into the east trap of playing their opponents at their own game. His skills, accurate passes and neat flicks finally proved too much for Watford's beleaguered defence.
But it was Watford who got off to a flying start with West scoring the first away goal at Anfield this season. A Lawrenson-conceded free-kick was taken by Barnes, flicked on by Smille and converted by West on the edge of the six-yard box. It should have been enough, but Molby and the Anfield gods just weren't on Watford's side.
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