Relegation candidates Watford put on a show in their home game against Premier League leading Liverpool.
The Reds had gone more than a year without a loss in the Premier League and were on the brink of breaking Manchester City’s record of consecutive victories. Not anymore, as second to last Watford gave Jürgen Klopp’s side a lesson in efficiency and determination. While Liverpool’s run was expected to end sooner rather than later, losing to Watford, let alone losing 3-0 was definitely not in the books. The victory lifts Watford out of the relegation zone, if only by a goal difference and despite losing Liverpool is still 22 points ahead of their closest challenger Manchester City, who do have a game in hand.
Liverpool took control of the game early on as they have in almost every fixture this season. Watford stood strong in defense though, and allowed no shots on goal and only one shot overall for their overwhelming visitors. The Hornets’ game plane worked to perfection, with the dangerous crosses from the flanks were kept to minimum and there was no space whatsoever behind the defensive line nor the channels in between. It was easy to see the frustration of the visiting side as they mostly kept the possession out of the danger zones and failed to put decent pressure on Watford defense. And when they did, Watford struck back with amazing efficiency.
To start the second half, Watford Ismaila Sarr sneaked in the first goal for the home team. Following a long-throw into the box, Abdoulaye Doucoure collected the ball and passed it in front of the goal for Sarr to tap in. Sarr was the culprit again only six minutes later, beating Liverpool’s lackluster defense to breakaway on Troy Deeney’s breaking pass to take on Alisson 1-on-1. Sarr coolly lobbed the ball over the surging keeper and made it 2-0 on 60th minute. Liverpool still held the ball for the most of the time, but never looked threatening. Troy Deeney then added insult to injury on 72nd minute by taking advantage of Liverpool defense’s confusion and slotted the ball in the back of the net from Ismaila Sarr’s assist.
The win was more important for Watford than the loss was for Liverpool, who are still clear favorites on top of the table. Watford climbed out of the relegation zone and will try to build on the fantastic win against Crystal Palace on 7th of March. On the same day, Liverpool will try and bounce back against another relegation candidate Bournemouth at Anfield.
Crystal Palace vs Watford (1×2): 2.45 – 3.25 – 2.91