There will be no unbeaten league season after Liverpool produced an awful performance to go down 3-0 at relegation-threatened Watford.
Watford 3-0 Liverpool
Premier League (28), Vicarage Road
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Liverpool had the opportunity to set a new English top-flight record of 19 consecutive wins but instead they produced a dire display to suffer their first defeat of the season and end their invincible campaign.
Jurgen Klopp made two changes from the side that saw off West Ham list time out, with Dejan Lovren replacing Joe Gomez in defence and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Naby Keita in midfield, both said to be struggling with minor knocks.
The match started in a relatively open fashion, with the 19th-placed home side taking a more positive approach than many against the runaway leaders.
Nigel Pearson’s team were the better side throughout, with Liverpool struggling to get any rhythm and lacking any sort of goal threat.
A serious injury to Gerard Deulofeu saw five minutes stoppage time at the end of the half and that Troy Deeney appeal for a penalty then go close but Alisson blocked smartly.
It was far from entertaining half and Liverpool failed to get a shot on target.
Half time: Watford 0-0 Liverpool
- No unbeaten league season for Reds
- First league game without scoring this season
- First defeat in 45 league games
- Lead remains at 22 points with 4 wins required for title
Such a lacklustre first half saw Klopp send out his side early for the first half but it had little effect.
Liverpool’s first shot on target arrived in the 53rd minute when Van Dijk played in Andy Robertson but his shot was straight at Ben Foster.
A minute later, the home side got the lead they deserved when Ismaila Sarr poked home from close range getting in ahead of Robertson inside the box. It was poor defending off a throw-in and a disappointing goal to concede.
And Sarr doubled the lead just before the hour with a composed finish over Sarr when put through behind the Reds’ defence.
A first defeat in 45 Premier League games is a blot on the copybook of a season that will result in the Reds’ first title win in 30 years.
They remain 22 points clear at the top and still need four more wins to secure the title, with their fourth league game from now being away to Manchester City.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Watford: Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Capoue, Hughes; Sarr, Doucoure, Deulofeu (Pereyra 37′); Deeney
Subs not used: Gomes, Dawson, Chalobah, Pussetto, Welbeck, Gray
Subs not used: Adrian, Matip, Hoever, Jones