Liverpool suffered their first Premier League loss of the season in a 3-0 defeat at Watford on Saturday.
Courtesy of three goals in space of eighteen minutes in the second half earned the Hornets the points at Vicarage Road. Ismaila Sarr’s brace in the 54th and 60th minute along with Troy Deeney’s strike in the 72nd minute guaranteed the hosts of three points against Premier League table toppers.
The Reds were unable to muster a clear-cut chance of note against Nigel Pearson’s compact, well-drilled outfit despite Adam Lallana hitting the post with a half-volley from range shortly after coming off the bench in the second half.
The loss meant Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League run ends at 44 matches, however they still remain 22 points clear at the top of the table.
Jurgen Klopp made two changes in Liverpool’s starting XI as Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were drafted into the squad from Monday’s win over West Ham United.
Joe Gomez had to miss out due to a minor fitness issue while Naby Keita was sidelined with a sore hip.
Early on, Liverpool enjoyed plenty of the ball but former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu’s scoop onto the roof of Alisson Becker’s net was the first time either goalkeeper looked remotely troubled during an opening that lacked incision from both teams.
With the hosts content to sit in deep and look to counter, the Reds were left to dominate possession and Mohamed Salah struck a right-footed shot into the side-netting as they sought to outdo the rigid defence.
A knee injury sustained by Deulofeu resulted in a lengthy stoppage that broke up a a disjointed first period, which ended goalless courtesy of an alert Alisson. The goalkeeper dived at Deeney’s feet as the Hornets captain looked to latch onto a loose ball in the area before being back to his feet to block his subsequent shot.
A minute after the restart, Alisson was needed again as he tipped Sarr’s drive over the crossbar after the forward had sprung in behind Liverpool’s backline.
In the other half, Salah saw his curlerrom the edge of the box blocked after the Egyptian smartly linked-up between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andy Robertson.
Robertson soon tried his luck as he struck at goal which was saved by Watford’s keeper Ben Foster.
Nine minutes into the second half, Abdoulaye Doucoure received a throw-in inside the area and crossed low from the byline, with Sarr duly sliding in from close range. Six minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead as Sarr raced onto Deeney’s pass and lifted his finish over Alisson.
Watford struck again 18 minutes from time as Sarr intercepted Trent Alexander-Arnold’s back-pass to Alisson and squared it to Deeney who slotted it into the back of the net calmly to triple the lead.