It was a harsh result at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners against Watford.

The scoreline however only tells half the story, as Watford kept the title challengers at bay for just over an hour and should have been awarded a penalty with the score still at 0-0.

In the end, the visitors’ quality shone through and the better team won, but despite the defeat there were positives to take for the ‘Orns.

1) The return of Etienne Capoue - If before the season I was to say that Watford’s best midfielder 13 games in wouldn’t be either Abdoulaye Doucoure or Nathaniel Chalobah, but instead Capoue, some may have laughed. The truth is though is that Watford are a much better side when Capoue is in the team. The Frenchman was a noticeable absence for our visit to Southampton two weeks ago and was one of the reasons the Saints were able to boss the game for large parts. I was happy to see him come straight back into the starting XI for the visit of Liverpool over the weekend and he didn’t disappoint. He made life difficult for the central pairing of Giorginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson, who eventually saw red after a frustrating afternoon. What’s more is that he makes Doucoure a better player. Last time out at Southampton Doucoure looked a little lost at times without his regular partner on the pitch. During the Liverpool game however I got the impression that Doucoure felt more comfortable with his countryman by his side and they were able to work in tandem to cause Liverpool problems.

2) We created chances against a top side – There’s no shame in not scoring against Liverpool, a side who are unbeaten and also boast one of the best defensive records in the league this season. Watford however gave a good account of themselves and could well have been ahead just after five minutes, had Gerard Deulofeu not strayed offside before finding the back of the net. We were creating space in Liverpool’s defence in the first half and it so nearly paid off when Roberto Pereyra was able to hit a volley towards goal which was saved by Alisson. I think it says a lot that Liverpool put out a very strong side despite having a must-win game coming up against PSG on Wednesday night, thus acknowledging our threat, I’m not sure they would have done the same had they been playing a team like Fulham or Huddersfield at the weekend.

3) Our heads didn’t drop – At no point in the game did I feel Liverpool were able to relax, even immediately after scoring the second Watford went on the front foot to try and find a way back into the game. Virgil Van Dijk had to be at his very best to win the aerial duels against Troy Deeney and did a good job in keeping the Watford skipper quiet. In recent seasons we’ve seen ourselves roll over against the big clubs and allow our heads to drop after one or two goals go in. Games such as Spurs at home in 16/17, City at home for the last two seasons and of course Liverpool away over the last two seasons. At times against the big clubs we’ve been our own worst enemy and were resigned to defeat as soon as the opposition’s opener hits the back of the net, this season is different though. We saw it against Spurs, United, Arsenal and now Liverpool and whilst three of those games ended in defeat, it tells you a lot about the mentality and the character of the squad that we refuse to admit defeat and continue playing until the final whistle.

Having been able to sleep on the defeat since the weekend it’s fair to say that the better team won and I can cope with that. If we go into a game against one of the big clubs, give our all and come out the other end beaten but knowing we did our best then that’s okay, these things happen and there is a reason Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment.

So it’s not all doom and gloom and I think Watford deserve a lot of credit for their performance and their attitude over the weekend. I’m delighted Javi Gracia has been given a chance to put his stamp on this talented squad and I’m already excited to see us play again on Saturday up in Leicester.

You ‘Orns!