On the night when the European champions had been anticipated to finish one of the best sequence within the historical past of English soccer’s top-flight with a 19th straight league victory, they had been as an alternative hammered 3-Zero by the staff mendacity one from backside.
Earlier Chelsea earned a late draw 2-2 at Bournemouth with two targets from their predatory defender Marcos Alonso and West Ham United moved out of the drop zone with a 3-1 win over Southampton after protests outdoors the London Stadium.
Yet nothing might examine with the drama of the late match as Watford’s Senegalese winger Ismaila Sarr scored twice and arrange a 3rd for his captain Troy Deeney in a second-half shredding of Liverpool’s aura of home invincibility.
Liverpool’s first league defeat of their 28th match this season additionally meant the end of a 44-game unbeaten streak stretching again to January 2019, in addition to killing off their desires of going a whole English top-flight marketing campaign and not using a loss like Arsenal and Preston North End earlier than them.
They stay 22 factors away from City, who’ve a sport in hand, so it’ll probably show solely a bump en path to Liverpool’s first English title for 30 years but such has been the Reds’ supremacy this time period, it felt greater than a minor tremor.
Sarr, who pounced twice within the house of six minutes simply earlier than the hour, was hailed an “unbelievable talent” by Deeney, who couldn’t assist however smile a couple of victory “nobody had given us a prayer” to attain.
3-Zero loss unacceptable: Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool’s captain Virgil van Dijk advised Sky Sports the defeat was “unacceptable”, including: “If you concede three goals, obviously we have to improve as a team. We will.”
The completely deserved win noticed Nigel Pearson’s Watford transfer out of the underside three on objective distinction into 17th place on 27 factors, the identical as 16th-placed West Ham and Bournemouth, who slipped into the drop zone after Chelsea’s late equaliser.
Chelsea boss Lampard relieved
At the Vitality Stadium, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was relieved, however nonetheless somewhat alarmed to be left reliant on defender Alonso coming to the rescue.
“I don’t want my left-back top of the scoring charts. I want our attackers scoring goals and they haven’t,” stated Lampard, after watching Alonso head house 5 minutes from time to make sure Chelsea averted a second defeat in 5 days following their humbling Champions League house loss to Bayern Munich.
Chelsea’s hopes of being in Europe’s prime event subsequent season suffered one other setback after Bournemouth responded to Alonso’s first-half objective with two in three second-half minutes from Jefferson Lerma and Josh King.
Yet Alonso, who additionally scored within the Blues’ large win over Tottenham Hotspur final weekend, struck to make sure fourth-placed Chelsea at the least moved to 45 factors, 5 behind third-placed Leicester City.
At West Ham, just a few thousand Hammers’ followers marched earlier than the sport, protesting concerning the membership’s homeowners, however their temper was lightened as Jarrod Bowen, the 22 million-pound ($28 million) January signing, marked his full debut with a superb objective.
Southampton teenager Michael Obafemi equalised however the Hammers prevailed with targets from Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio.
Brighton & Hove Albion are nonetheless in a precarious 15th place as former England supervisor Roy Hodgson celebrated his 100th Premier League match in control of Crystal Palace with a 1-Zero win on the house of their previous rivals.
Jordan Ayew’s 70th-minute winner, conjured up in opposition to the run of play, left Brighton pondering severe difficulties as they face a frightening fixture checklist for the remainder of the season.
Newcastle United might get sucked into the relegation zone too if their strike drive stays as blunt because it did within the 0-0 draw at house to Burnley, the fourth successive sport by which they’ve failed to attain.