Watford beat us 3-0 this afternoon at Vicarage Road this afternoon in a game that we never really got started in.
We made four changes to the side that drew 2-2 with West Brom last weekend, as Mamadou Sakho returned from injury to replace Dejan Lovren, Adam Bogdan replaced Simon Mignolet who was ruled out with a hamstring injury, James Milner was replaced by Lucas, and Roberto Firmino came in for Christian Benteke.
The first goal came after just three minutes. Replacement keeper Bodgan was at fault; he dropped a Ben Watson corner right at the feet of Nathan Ake, and the 20 year old made no mistake in prodding in from close range.
The early goal gave Watford confidence, and they swarmed forward in a bid to grab a quick second. They got their reward in the 15th minute, as Odion Ighalo doubled the hosts advantage.
Troy Deeney looped the ball over the top of the defence and Ighalo gave chase. He beat Martin Skrtel to the ball and despite the tight angle he hit a slightly scuffed shot past Bogdan and in off the far post.
It was a shock for Liverpool. Despite having 69 percent possession for the opening 20 minutes, we still found ourselves 2-0 down.
We struggled to find an incisive edge, and the decision not to play a traditional number 9 in the shape of Christian Benteke looked in increasingly naive.
Bogdan’s nerves clearly still hadn’t settled as the half wore on. He almost was at fault for another Watford goal as punched a corner straight at Lucas, and generally struggled to show authority in his area.
The day went from day to worse on the stroke of half-time as Skrtel limped off holding his leg. Divock Origi was his replacement.
The second half saw much of the same. Watford were fast and dangerous, while we were slow and ponderous in attack.
Sahko was repeatedly isolated at the back, while Henderson and Coutinho were both wasteful at the other end.
Watford made sure of their points with just five minutes remaining on the clock. Troy Deeney played the ball out to Valon Behrami on the right wing, and his cross was headed between the legs of Bogdan by Odion Ighalo for his second goal of the day.
The result leaves us in ninth place in the table, five points behind fifth-placed Spurs. Watford move up to seventh.
Next up for the Reds is a home tie against table toppers Leicester. Watford will travel to Chelsea.