MATCH REPORT: Watford 3 Liverpool 3
So, the Premier League really is good isn’t it? The last time Liverpool went to Vicarage Road only one goal was scored. That goal from Emre Can may have won goal of the season, but it didn’t stop the game from being a muted affair. This game however, was very different.
New Watford manager Marco Silva certainly knows how to exploit Liverpool weaknesses, as he did with a 2 – 0 win against the Reds with Hull last season, and did so again earning a deserved point from an enthralling 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road in the 12.30pm kick-off.
Despite the best right back in the world Janmaat (lies) getting injured, for the first half Liverpool were on the rocks. Watford striker Stefan Okaka held the ball well all game and was left free in the box during a corner in the 10th minute to head in Watfords first goal.
Saido Mane then equalised beautifully with a curled effort into the right-hand corner after a 20 minute pause. Only three minutes later, instead of scoring a terrific overhead kick, Can lost the ball. Space is found. The ball is whipped into the Liverpool area. And, after a sloppy clearance from Matip, Doucoure sweeps it home. “Liverpool are bad at defending” may be a theme this season, as it was last season. 2 – 1 at the break.
After Watford controlled the first half Liverpool came back with some bite. Salah was on fire, making darting runs and causing Watfords full backs all kinds of problems. One of these problems became a penalty – with Firmino slotting home to make it 2-2.
Soon after, Liverpool scored again after Firmino flicked it over Gomez’s head and Salah helped it in. The rest of the game was a very entertaining battle of counter attacks and with speedy new signing Andre Gray being brought on Watford posed a threat to match Liverpool. None of these threats produced a goal however, until a Watford corner in the 92nd minute.
You’d really think that Klopp would’ve worked on defending set pieces during the summer. If he did, he didn’t do it very well because damn, there has been no improvement. After the corner the ball bobbled about for 1.48 seconds until finally being pushed in by the centre back Britos. 3 – 3 at full time.
This was a well fought and well earned point for Watford and fully deserved. Remaining composed for the most part and capitalising on Liverpool’s leaky, leaky defence. Liverpool’s attacking prowess is solid and Muhammad Salah seems to be a lovely addition, but over the summer Liverpool still haven’t been able to plug this leaky leaky defence.
This leaky defence could be plugged by a player such as Virgil Van Dijk. However relying on one player seems to be avoiding an issue which perhaps cannot be fixed by one player. The future looks shaky and uncertain for Liverpool and pretty solid for Watford. But this the first weekend, so only time will tell.
Written by Sam Hay.