EPL match results: Liverpool faced defeat for the first time after 44-game unbeaten run in the league
In a shocking Premier League action last weekend, the relegation-threatened Watford at home ended the domination of European champions, Liverpool following the 3-0 defeat that broke their 27-match unbeaten this season, and a record-tying 18-match winning run and 44-game unbeaten run in the league. It means that Arsene Wenger’s 49-unbeaten run record with Arsenal’s “Invincibles” is safe.
The champions-in-waiting Reds traveled to Vicarage Road with 22-point lead on top of the table and return home losing their club and league record to Watford’s Ismaila Sarr brace and Troy Deeney goal that sealed three points. Ismaila Sarr’s second-half double was followed by a Troy Deeney strike that halted the supremacy of the Reds.
The Hornets came from the relegation zone before crashing the league leaders for the first time since the defeat to Manchester City 2-1 in January 2019. They also failed to score in a league game for the first time since March 2019. Watford’s display at Vicarage Road uplifts the teams in the relegation zone and this important win puts pressure to them.
“It’s just one game,” Nigel Pearson, Watford’s manager said. “We’ve got 10 games left and they are all going to be important. We’ve got to try and emulate what we’ve done today in terms of performance. But, I’m really proud of the players and they should be proud of how they’ve coped with a difficult situation.” They avoided the relegation and propelled 3 points up after this win.
The Reds’ underwhelming performance on the road was displayed during their Champion League kick-off with Atletico Madrid breaking their then 12-games unbeaten run across all competitions that was followed by a win at home against West Ham United 3-2. Despite the loss, they remain the top team in the league with 79 points collected in 28 games.
Talking to a media outlet after the disappointing result, Jurgen Klopp claimed that “sometimes a little knock is important”. He said that their first Premier League defeat of the campaign “don’t see anything negative”. According to records, this defeat was only the second time in 172 Premier League games under Jürgen Klopp that Liverpool have had only one shot in the first half since January 2017 v Chelsea.
From time to time if you are not good enough, you need to see [the] effect. Not good enough – what happens then? So restart. Maybe the longer the [undefeated] run goes maybe it becomes more important. But I didn’t see that today. Now it is over. We can start again with whatever we did before, and we will,” Klopp added.
The players also expressed their dismay after the defeat. “We want to strike back, we want to show what we’ve been doing the whole season,” Van Dijk said after the match. “That’s the only way forward.” Andrew Robertson said that, “Watford deserved the three points” because of that performance. “They were brilliant to a man. And we weren’t.”
“It’s up to us to now show that this defeat hurts and up to us to now go and put a run together that will crown us champions,” Robertson added. The absence of Captain Jordan Henderson with Joe Gomez, Naby Keita and James Milner cost a lot for the team during the game as the defense seemed sluggish.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s upcoming matches include the fifth round of FA Cup against Chelsea this week. The Reds have won the FA Cup seven times and last time they lifted the trophy was in 2005-06 after a penalty shootout victory against West Ham following a 3-3 draw. They will also try to bounce back from the Premier League and Champions league losses when they take on Bournemouth and Atletico Madrid.
Klopp’s men are the defending champions of the Champions League, while the last time they lifted the Premier League trophy was in the 1989/90 season under Kenny Dalglish, counting 29 years at the time of writing. With only 4 more wins in the upcoming league matches, the Reds will finally lift their 19th Premier League trophy and finally put an end to their title drought in the English top-flight.