Liverpool are not invincible. Atletico Madrid proved as much and Watford have reaffirmed it. Hungry to stay in the division, the Hornets beat Jurgen Klopp’s side 3-0 on Saturday. Short of tension, misfiring in attack and bland at the back, the Reds saw their unbeaten streak in the Premier League halted at 44 games. The negative note for Watford was an injury to Gerard Deulofeu, taken off on a stretcher after clashing with Virgin van Dijk in the first half.
Foster; Femenía, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Hughes, Capoue; Sarr (Pussetto, 82′), Doucouré (Chalobah, 89′), Deulofeu (Pereyra, 37′); Deeney.
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Origi, 61′), Fabinho, Wijnaldum (Lallana, 61′); Salah, Firmino (Minamino, 79′) y Mané.
1-0 M. 54 Sarr. 2-0 M. Sarr. 3-0 M. 72 Deeney.
Until then, the Catalan had been the best player on the pitch. He had helped Watford create the best chances and twice shot over the bar. He didn’t just create danger, he led his side, asking for the ball and taking the game to the league leaders. He was a constant headache for Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool struggled to find their feet at Vicarage Road. Before the break, their only chance was a shot from Mo Salah that hit the side netting. More intense from the off, winning every loose ball, Watford surprised. The only thing lacking from their first. 45 minutes was a goal.
They took a step back after Deulofeu’s injury. Liverpool came into the game and took control of the ball. However, they grew again. Troy Deeney hit the woodwork before the beak and Alisson made a save from Sarr shortly after. it. Liverpool responded with an effort from andy Robertson but it was easy for Ben Foster.
Watford soon had their reward when Doucoure set up Sarr to open the scoring in the 54th minute. Without time to react, Liverpool found themselves 2-0 down when the same man scored again, this time set up by Deeney, who was a menace for Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren all evening.
Klopp couldn’t believe what he was seeing and made changes in a bid to salvage something from the game. But they couldn’t get back into it. All hope disappeared in the 72nd minute when Sarr set up Deeney to make it 3-0.
It ended in Liverpool’s first defeat. of the Premier League season and stopped their unbeaten run in the top flight at 44 games. Hopes of matching Arsenal’s unbeaten season are gone but it will still take something remarkable for them to fail to win the title. They remain 22 points clear of Manchester City, although they have now played a game more.