Watford stuns Liverpool to hand them first loss of season

Watford stuns Liverpool to hand them first loss of season

Liverpool's ambitions of going through the Premier League season unbeaten have come to an end after a surprise 3-0 loss at Watford, marking the runaway leaders' first loss in 45 top-flight matches stretching back to January a year ago.

Two goals from Ismaila Sarr and a third from Troy Deeney earned a famous victory for the Hornets at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with the Merseysiders tasting defeat in the league for the first time in 422 days, stretching back to a 2-1 reverse against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019. And these games are always proper games whether it is Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, City or Manchester United.

Despite conceding more than once in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2016, van Dijk believes Liverpool's defence has not had a dip in form.

That's where the streak ended, as Watford came out flying and Liverpool flat.

Sarr should have wrapped up his hat-trick with nine minutes remaining but he shot wide when through on goal before he was replaced to a rapturous reception.

It's undeniably a huge win for Watford, which jumps out of the relegation zone into 17th place, ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference.

"It will be hard, we understand that, but our main focus is on the next game and recovering for that because going to Watford is not an easy task and teams have learned that over the course of the season".

So what happened to Liverpool?

Xherdan Shaqiri is continuing his rehabilitation from a niggling calf injury that's hampered him in recent weeks so he misses out along with Henderson and Milner but otherwise Klopp has a healthy squad to choose from this weekend.

"The things that shine through, for me, are the quality of the individuals within it". The Reds have played well short of their potential for most of February.

"They have been even better than last season when they won the Champions League and the season before when they [lost the final to Real Madrid]", the former Juve star noted.

While that top line is well below the record £125m profit for the year ending May 2018, the rewards are being felt on the pitch with the club four victories away from winning their first league title in 30 years.

"If people think City are not as good as they were - they are". Watford will celebrate that long into the night.

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