Watford 3 - 0 Liverpool
Watford: Sarr 53’, 59’ Deeney 72’
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the start in Jordan Henderson’s position over Naby Keita. In the defense, Joe Gomez misses this match with injury, so it’s Dejan Lovren alongside Virgil van Dijk. The Gomez sub is said to be a precaution, so let’s hope it’s nothing serious. If Liverpool win this game, they will set the new record for most consecutive wins in Premier League history.
The game starts out slow and a bit tepid, with Liverpool controlling the ball in the midfield. Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are pumping in the crosses, but so far nothing has worked out.
Liverpool get their first corner in the ninth minute, but it leads to Watford countering quickly. Gerard Deulofeu gets himself open and fires a shot that sails just above Alisson’s crossbar. The Hornets begin working themselves into the game, and it’s Liverpool on the back foot.
It appears that the pitch is very slick because the Liverpool players keep slipping on the grass.
Salah gets a shot off in the 20th minute, but it’s sloppy and ends up in the side netting. So far, Watford seem to be the better side.
Ouch, in the 30th minute, van Dijk takes Deulofeu down in an awkward challenge that clearly does Deulofeu’s knee in. That’s a shame. He’d been having a very good game up against Alexander-Arnold, but he gets taken off on a stretcher looking to be in considerable pain.
Deulofeu gets replaced by Roberto Pereyra and the game continues, likely with several minutes of added time at the end of an uneventful and ugly first half. Speaking of ugly, the tackles have been coming punishing and studs up as the players on both sides begin to get frustrated at nothing coming off.
Wow, wow, what just happened. Just before halftime, Troy Deeney gets free and up against Alisson. He shoots, and Alisson blocks the shot but fails to control the ball, which wriggles away from his arms. Deeney gets the rebound and somehow Alisson throws his body out to block what should have been a goal. The ball trickles out past the far post and that’s how this interminable half ends.
Oh good. This match is back on. Cool. This half starts with a mistake by Lovren that leads to Alisson saving Sarr’s shot, pushing it over the bar.
Minutes later, Salah gets off a shot that looks like it would be on target if it hadn’t been cut off by a defender. The Reds only got off one shot in the first half, so I’ll take what I can get.
Robertson gets in behind and gets off a shot that’s blocked by the goalkeeper. There’s a scramble in the box, but Ben Foster holds onto it in the end.
Goal - Sarr 53’ - The Reds will come to regret that when down on the other end, they somehow allow Watford to bag the first goal from a throw-in. Troy Deeney gets it into the box and Sarr slams it home.
Goal - Sarr 59’ - Well, ok. Sarr gets another. Who knew that Joe Gomez was the glue that held this whole team together, huh? This game has been a misery from start to finish.
Adam Lallana and Divock Origi have come on for Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain to try and salvage something for the Reds here in the last 30 minutes.
Goal - 72’ Deeney - Well, alright. That comeback looks like it might not happen. I dare someone to try and tell me how much Liverpool don’t need Jordan Henderson now. It’s been a long time since Liverpool fans have had to deal with this kind of feeling, and that’s a blessing in itself. But man, this whole game was horrible to watch.
Takumi Minamino is the unfortunate soul who gets to come on as Klopp’s third and final sub in the 79th minute, replacing Roberto Firmino, whose name I haven’t written at all in this recap, which should tell you how his game went.
Noel’s suggestion for what to write in this section is “did Liverpool do the thing?” For the first time in the league this season, Liverpool did not do the thing.