Watford 3-0 Liverpool Match Review – There’s Only One Invincibles and it Aint Liverpool – Gunners Record Stands
Updated: 29th May 2023
Watford 3-0 Liverpool Match Review. Watford stun Liverpool 3-0; End season's unbeaten run for the Reds
- It was a reality check for Liverpool as Nigel Pearson's Hornets consigned an almost invincible Liverpool to their first Premier League defeat of the season.
- In fact, Jurgen Klopp's Reds' last PL defeat was to Manchester City way back in January 3, 2019 which is more than a year ago.
- Having registered 18 Premier League wins, another one at Vicarage Road for the Reds would have made history as the longest winning streak in the English top-flight football.
- But with Saturday's 0-3 defeat at Vicarage, Liverpool fell short of the 49 league games unbeaten record of Arsenal's Invincibles.
Liverpool's own unbeaten run ended here on 44 games.
Watford thoroughly deserved their win, which moved them out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
The Hornets were good right from the beginning and had more opportunities to go ahead much before half-time. Only some superb heroics from Alisson between the posts prevented striker Troy Deeney from putting the hosts 1-0 ahead before interval.
But the Hornets did not have to wait too much for all their efforts as they were rewarded nine minutes into the second half when Abdoulaye Doucoure squeezed in a cross from the left for the very impressive Ismaila Sarr to finish.
Liverpool had fallen behind to West Ham last week but still managed to grind out a 3-2 win, but somehow this time it seemed different as the Reds were sloppy in possession and had no bite in their attacks. So, it didn't come as a surprise when the Hornets got their 2nd goal. It was Sarr again as he was put through on goal by Will Hughes and the winger coolly chipped the ball over Alisson into the net. It was 2-0 for Watford in the 60th minute of play.
The writing was on the wall for Liverpool now. Captain Deeney completed a famous win for the Hornets, curling one into the back of the net from the edge of the area in the 72nd minute.
The Hammers in their 2-3 defeat showed that if teams attacked the Liverpool defense then they stand a better chance of upsetting them and that was the case on Saturday as the Reds back line struggled to deal with the Hornets' high pressing.
The defensive pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren looked vulnerable, compared to the seemingly impenetrable Van Dijk-Joe Gomez partnership with Gomez out because of a fitness issue.
Recent performances have not been quite at the level Liverpool have been normally capable of, losing to a resilient Atletico Madrid in the Champions League before scraping past West Ham last week.
As for the Hornets, winger Sarr was a menace from the outset, taking advantage of the surprising amount of space he was afforded on the flank to deliver a number of dangerous crosses. His pace and trickery was too much the Reds, who were unable to handle him and both his goals came as a result of these qualities.
For Liverpool the defeat was cosmetic and will hardly stop them from winning the Premier League for the first time after 30 years. But it was a jolt, nonetheless.
Amidst all the fanfare, the Hornets were dealt a severe blow going into future outings with an injury sustained by one of the key forwards, Gerard Deulofeu.
Deulofeu had to be carried off on a stretcher in the 32nd minute when he twisted his knee while attempting a challenge on Virgil van Dijk.
Nevertheless, there were scenes of delirious joy at the Vicarage Road stadium as loudspeakers blared the track ‘I just can't get enough,' by Depeche Mode. Yes, the Watford faithful will want more of this.
Team line-ups and players' ratings
Watford (4-2-3-1): Foster 7 (goal); Femenía 7, Kabasele 7, Cathcart 7, Masina 6; Hughes 8, Capoue 7; Sarr 8; Doucouré 7; Deulofeu 7; Deeney 7.5
Subs: Gomes, Dawson, Welbeck, Chalobah, Gray, (Pussetto 6); (Pereyra 6);
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 5 (goal); Alexander-Arnold 5, Lovren 5, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6; Oxlade-Chamberlain 5; Fabinho 5, Wijnaldum 6; Salah 5, Firmino 5; Mane 5.
Subs: Adrian, (Minamino 6), Lallana, (Origi 5), Matip, Jones, Hoever
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