Watford continued their current run of form and convincingly beat Liverpool to register four back-to-back wins in top flight, their first since 1987.
Klopp’s men were under performing for a couple of weeks and suffered an away defeat against relegation threatened Newcastle and clinched a draw over West Brom at Anfield before this match.
Considering the current run of form, this game was perfectly balanced for both sides – it was a chance for the Reds to get back to winning ways and close the gap with top 4 sides and an opportunity for the Hornets to win back to back 4 matches first time in their Premier League history.
But the game went horribly wrong for the Reds from the very beginning. It was a howler from the goalkeeper Adam Bogdan who replaced injured Simon Mignolet in goals. The finish from Nathan Ake was a controversial one though. The replays showed that Bogdan managed to grab the ball in second chance and Ake kicked the ball when it was in Bogdan’s grip.
But Liverpool’s poor display continued through out the first half as Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney kept the whole Liverpool defense and midfield on their toes. The second goal was a typical Ighalo finish who beat Martin Skrtel with his pace and power and slotted the ball past Bogdan to extend the lead.
Liverpool were more positive in the second half but they could not break the Watford defense. It was their third back to back clean sheet in the league thanks to their disciplined defense and extra ordinary goalkeeping from Heurelho Gomes. The third Watford goal came from a counter attack, the substitute Valon Behrami nicely placed the ball for high flying Ighalo who made no mistake to finish it from a close range. It was his 12th goal of the season in 17 appearances.
The match ended in a 3-0 win for the newly promoted Watford side.
Troy Deeny, Almen Abdi were stand out performers for the Hornets. On the other hand, most of the Liverpool players hugely disappointed except Jordan Henderson, who was passing and pressing well the entire time. But it was a disastrous performance from Mamadou Sakho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana today. Sakho was shambolic in defense and the injury of Martin Skrtel will increase anxiety for Liverpool think tank as they will also miss the duty of only in-form defender Dejan Lovren against table toppers Leicester City. If Lovren doesn’t get fit, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho might have to face in form Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez next week. Which is definitely the most worrying sign for any Liverpool fan currently.
Watford: They fielded an unchanged side which won against Sunderland. Though they got a major boost as Behrami returned in the squad after missing a few matches due to an injury. Quique Sanchez Flores played in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Starting XI : Gomes ; Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Ake ; Capoue, Watson, Abdi ( behrami 80′), Jurado ( Anya 76′) ; Deeney; Ighalo ( Guedioura 89′)
unused subs: Arlauskis, Holebas, Diamanti, Oulare.
Liverpool: Klopp benched Benteke and started with a 4-3-3 false 9 formation keeping Firmino Upfront. Though it didn’t work well for the Reds.
Starting XI: Bogdan ; Clyne, Skrtel(Origi 41′), Sakho, Moreno ; Lucas, Can, Henderson ; Coutinho, Lallana (Ibe 74′), Firmino (Benteke 74′)
unused subs: Fulton, Kolo Toure, Allen, Randall.
Watford vs Liverpool Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||5||4|
|Fouls conceded (Bookings)||6 (1)||9 (0)|
Watford vs Liverpool Highlights:
Photo by bluebirdwfc