Liverpool Unbeaten ended woefully

One of the greatest unbeaten streaks in the history of the English game had to end somewhere, but that it came against a club who have sacked two managers already this season and nursed a relegation death-wish since August, made this a truly surreal event.

Liverpool’s invincible season is over. They will surely win their first Premier League nonetheless, a historic 30-year wait that only a force majeure or international public health event could realistically stop now but the dream of going 50 games unbeaten and taking Arsenal’s place in the record books is over. Stopped by an astonishing performance from a Watford side that began the day in 19th place and played – in the second half at least – like a more adventurous version of Atletico Madrid.

Diego Simeone, Carlo Ancelotti, and, now Nigel Pearson – the only three managers who have defeated a Jurgen Klopp Liverpool team, as opposed to the second string League Cup version, in a season in which the leaders have looked unstoppable. The clock is stopped for Liverpool at 44 games undefeated going back to Jan 3 last year, and this is the end of a remarkable 18 straight wins in the league. They will be eager to get back on that run come next Saturday at home to Bournemouth after Tuesday’s FA Cup tie although, for now, Arsene Wenger’s 49-game unbeaten run of 2004 is safe.

Liverpool were dreadful. Their famous front three were unrecognisable. They managed just one shot on target. Even more surprising was the defensive performance, a situation not helped by the absence of Joe Gomez, rested as a precaution, and replaced by Dejan Lovren. Lovren had one of those bad days of his but there were below-par performances from the unlikeliest of characters, including Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

For Ismaila Sarr, who scored two wonderful goals, including a breakaway finish for his second, it was a splendid day. So too, Troy Deeney, who got the third and was generally more than a match for Lovren. For Pearson it was a triumph, having faced Liverpool in his first game in charge of Watford in December when the team did well at Anfield but succumbed in the end. He lost Gerard Deulofeu to a bad injury in the first half when his team were more than a match for Liverpool before raising their game again after the break.

One of the greatest unbeaten streaks in the history of the English game had to end somewhere, but that it came against a club who have sacked two managers already this season and nursed a relegation death-wish since August, made this a truly surreal event.

Liverpool’s invincible season is over. They will surely win their first Premier League nonetheless, a historic 30-year wait that only a force majeure or international public health event could realistically stop now but the dream of going 50 games unbeaten and taking Arsenal’s place in the record books is over. Stopped by an astonishing performance from a Watford side that began the day in 19th place and played – in the second half at least – like a more adventurous version of Atletico Madrid.

Diego Simeone, Carlo Ancelotti, and, now Nigel Pearson – the only three managers who have defeated a Jurgen Klopp Liverpool team, as opposed to the second string League Cup version, in a season in which the leaders have looked unstoppable. The clock is stopped for Liverpool at 44 games undefeated going back to Jan 3 last year, and this is the end of a remarkable 18 straight wins in the league. They will be eager to get back on that run come next Saturday at home to Bournemouth after Tuesday’s FA Cup tie although, for now, Arsene Wenger’s 49-game unbeaten run of 2004 is safe.

Liverpool were dreadful. Their famous front three were unrecognisable. They managed just one shot on target. Even more surprising was the defensive performance, a situation not helped by the absence of Joe Gomez, rested as a precaution, and replaced by Dejan Lovren. Lovren had one of those bad days of his but there were below-par performances from the unlikeliest of characters, including Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

For Ismaila Sarr, who scored two wonderful goals, including a breakaway finish for his second, it was a splendid day. So too, Troy Deeney, who got the third and was generally more than a match for Lovren. For Pearson it was a triumph, having faced Liverpool in his first game in charge of Watford in December when the team did well at Anfield but succumbed in the end. He lost Gerard Deulofeu to a bad injury in the first half when his team were more than a match for Liverpool before raising their game again after the break.

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