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Sarr stuns Liverpool to leave Invincible dream in tatters

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Ismaila Sarr of Watford celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road on February 29, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom

Image credit: Getty Images

ByNadeem Badshah
29/02/2020 at 18:31 | Updated 29/02/2020 at 23:24

Premier League, Vicarage Road: Watford 3 (Sarr 54', 60', Deeney 72') Liverpool 0

Liverpool suffered their first Premier League defeat since January 2019 after being humbled 3-0 away to Watford thanks to a double from Ismaila Sarr.

The Reds, who missed the chance of setting a top-flight record of 19 straight wins and were five games away from equalling Arsenal's all-time best unbeaten run of 49 matches, were well below par for the opening half, mustering only one effort.

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Nigel Pearson's side created the better chances with Gerard Deulofeu and Troy Deeney going close. But the Hornets were dealt a huge blow when Delofeu appeared to twist his right knee after being outmuscled by Virgil van Dijk and was stretchered off.

But the home side continued to dominate after the break and got their rewards when they took advantage of some poor defending with Abdoulaye Doucoure finding Sarr who scored from close range.

The Hornets were buzzing minutes later when a clever pass from Deeney sent Sarr through on goal to loft the ball over Alisson for his second.

And the hosts were in dreamland when Sarr capitalised on a poor backpass from Trent Alexander-Arnold and unselfishly set up Deeney to score his side's third.

The result means Liverpool still need more 12 points to clinch their first title since 1990 while Watford climb to 17th position.

TALKING POINT

What happened to Liverpool?

The Reds were never at the races from their front three to their spate of defensive blunders. This result will probably have little impact on the title race but will be a test for Klopp's side on how they recover from their first defeat in 44 Premier League games when they face Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ismaila Sarr (Watford): The club's record signing was given a start today and put on a dazzling display. The Senegalese striker took both goals coolly and then set up Deeney instead of going for his hat-trick.

PLAYER RATINGS

WATFORD: Foster 5, Masina 8, Cathcart 7, Kabasele 7, Femenia 7, Capoue 6, Hughes 6, Deulofeu n/a, Doucoure 8, Sarr 9, Deeney 8. Subs: Pereyra 6, Pussetto n/a.

LIVERPOOL: Alisson 5,Alexander-Arnold 5, Lovren 6, Van Dijk 5, Robertson 5, Fabinho 4, Wijnaldum 4, Oxlade-Chamberlain 4, Mane 5, Salah 5, Firmino 5. Subs: Lallana 7, Origi 6 Minamino n/a.

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KEY MOMENTS

34' - INJURY! Deulofeu's game looks to be over, he appeared to catch his foot in the turf as he went down after being shoved by van Dijk. He is being stretchered off.

45'+5 - CHANCE! Alisson makes a hash of collecting the ball, it falls to Deeney a few yards out who scoops the ball wide.

46' - GOOD SAVE! Sarr's vicious shot is tipped over by Alisson after Pereyra's through ball for a corner. Its played short and the visitors clear it.

54' - GOAL FOR WATFORD! Following a throw-in, Doucoure squeezes the ball across the box and Sarr slides in to score!

65' - WOODWORK! Lallana chests it down 25 yards out and his swerving half volley rattles the post.

72' - GOAL FOR WATFORD! Alexander-Arnold with a poor backpass, Sarr cuts it back for Deeney who scores on the edge of the box to make it 3-0!

KEY STATS

  • Liverpool conceded the opening goal of a Premier League game for the first time since November 2nd.
  • The Reds conceded at least two goals in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since Virgil Van Dijk joined the club.
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FootballPremier LeagueLiverpoolWatford
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