Brought to you by

Key Events

A. Guédioura
O. Ighalo
V. Behrami
Assist
O. Ighalo
Goal
V. Behrami
A. Abdi
M. Britos
Yellow Card
I. Anya
José Jurado
C. Benteke
Roberto Firmino
J. Ibe
A. Lallana
D. Origi
M. Škrtel
T. Deeney
Assist
O. Ighalo
Goal
N. Aké
Goal
3
1
3
0

Stats

Possession
% %
0
4
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 5 4
Total Passes 268 500

Commentary

That's all from Vicarage Road, thanks for joining us today. Good bye!
Another two goals from Odion Ighalo secures a fourth-consecutive win for the Hornets as they move to within a point of the top four, dismantling the hapless Reds in the process. Watford led for 87 minutes following Nathan Ake's opener and Bogdan's slip, and the result never appeared in doubt.
FULL TIME: WATFORD 3-0 LIVERPOOL.
Into the first of three minutes of stoppage time, but there's no stopping this party! These fans will be singing long into the night. It's Christmas come early for the Hornets fans, who will cherish every second of their brief holiday break.
A. Guédioura
O. Ighalo
Watford
Ighalo walks off to a thunderous applause from the Vicarage Road faithful, replaced by Guedioura for the final few minutes.
Have no doubts about it, these three points are in every way deserved by Watford. They have been on top since the first minute and, really, the result has never appeared in doubt for them. From a Liverpool standpoint, this is a real worrying sign and they are not in for a happy Christmas break.
V. Behrami
Assist
Watford
That was a peach of a cross from Behrami to pick out Ighalo in the centre.
O. Ighalo
Goal
Watford
INCREDIBLE! VICARAGE ROAD LEFT DREAMING! Exclamation point for Watford who perfectly execute a counter, which sees Behrami pick out the head of Ighalo with a cross and the striker bounces a header in from six-yards out. He's never going to miss from there in this kind of form! Watford will be one point back of the top four at Christmas - what a story they are writing for themselves.
STAT: Watford have never won back to back home games in the Premier League
V. Behrami
A. Abdi
Watford
Loud applause around Vicarage Road as Valon Behrami comes on for the final 10 minutes, getting his first taste of action following an extended absence with a calf injury. That gives the Hornets a more stable trio in midfield.
Poorly-worked set piece there from Liverpool as Henderson's ball over the top does pick out Benteke, but it arrives at the Belgian's head way too far out from goal for him to really make much of it. The striker gets a touch, but sends it harmlessly wide.
M. Britos
Yellow Card
Watford
Britos goes into the book for a cynical foul, but more of a worry for Watford is the ensuing set piece here which will afford Liverpool a chance to try and create something.
Henderson sees a blistering strike blocked behind by Watson, who knew little about it. The Reds pack the area in anticipation of the corner being taken, but it's the big frame of Gomes who comes off his line to collect confidently.
I. Anya
José Jurado
Watford
Watford make their first switch of the afternoon as Ikechi Anya is introduced at the expense of Jurado. He will provide plenty of energy and pace, and will perhaps be able to surprise Liverpool on the counter over these final 15 minutes.
C. Benteke
Roberto Firmino
Liverpool
The other change sees the arrival of Christian Benteke, with Firmino giving way.
J. Ibe
A. Lallana
Liverpool
Final role of the dice for Jurgen Klopp who utilises his final two substitutions here, the first of which sees Jordon Ibe replace Adam Lallana.
STAT: Liverpool have scored just two goals in the three Premier League games that Philippe Coutinho has missed this season (0.7 per game), compared to an average of 1.4 goals per game with him in the side.
Gomes again forced into action! Britos' clearance is a poor one as it's sent straight at Can who latches onto the ball and unleashes a cannon from 25-yards out. There's great bend behind his strike, but Gomes stays with it to dive across to his near post and knock it behind.
Liverpool starting to throw everyone forward now in the hopes of breaking through this stern Watford resistance. A goal at any point would make for a grandstand finish, but the Hornets know that and aren't offering any openings in defence.
"I CAN DO THAT TOO," SAYS GOMES! Coutinho picks up Henderson with a clever switch of play, gifting the skipper a opportunity just inside the right of the penalty area. He skips past one defender and drives a shot at goal, but Gomes does enough to knock it over the bar!
EXACTLY WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED! For Bogdan, that is. Ighalo beats the offside trap and is sprung clean through behind the defence. He has the goal at his mercy, but Bogdan stays with him patiently and gets his arm up to just knock the final effort over the bar! Maybe that will inspire Liverpool
STAT: Watford have only conceded in three of their Premier League home games this season, but they have lost on each of these occasions.
Liverpool down to a half-hour remaining as they try to turn this around. They haven't done nearly enough to threaten Gomes in goal and it really in surprising to see them wait this long to throw caution to the wind. Two goals is no easy task against this stout Watford defence.
Coutinho needs to get his emotions in check here. The Brazilian makes a strong pass out from the back to spring Origi on the right, before sprinting forward himself and shouting for a return pass. He runs into an offside position almost straight away, however, which is why the Belgian never produced the pass, but Coutinho doesn't realise it and is disgusted with the substitute at the moment.
Vital cover from Can! Watford threaten to break two-against-one as Deeney pokes the ball free just past the halfway line. Can spots the danger and shows impressive pace to catch up to the striker and break up the move.
HAD TO BE BETTER! The pace is picking up in a big way here. Lallana does so well to pick out Henderson in acres of space on the right and the skipper has plenty of options for a cross, pullback or a shot, but from just inside the area he sends a weak delivery straight into the hands of Gomes, which elicits a few groans from his teammates.
STAT: Liverpool have taken 12 points from their opening eight league matches under Jurgen Klopp, the same amount they managed in their first eight with Brendan Rodgers in charge.
Wonderful from Origi! A teasing ball over the top gives the Belgian something to chase and he does just that, over-powering Britos to get on the end of it and drive a shot in towards the near post, but Gomes is able to make a straightforward stop.
Liverpool have that presence up top now in Origi and they are looking for him at every opportunity. Moreno is picked out inside the area at the end of the move, courtesy of a mistake by Abdi, but the full-back can only crash his shot into the side netting.
Back underway at Vicarage Road with Liverpool having it all to do in this second half.
Looking to the heavens as he walks off is Bogdan. The keeper's spill gifted Watford a lead inside three minutes, than a moment of inspiration from Ighalo doubled it after a quarter of an hour as Watford have been rewarded for their impressive first-half performance. The visitors have lacked inspiration and creativity and you wouldn't bet on them to turn this around as a result.
HALF TIME: WATFORD 2-0 LIVERPOOL
No one told Klopp it would be easy, but you get the sense he's being dealt more than he bargained for. He has to come up with another spirited team talk because his side are seriously lacking in the motivation department right now.
There are three minutes of stoppage time set to be added on.
MUCH BETTER FROM BOGDAN! The keeper remains very alert as he keeps his eye on a Watford corner through a jungle of limbs. The ball is flicked towards goal at the near post, but Bogdan is able to get across and stick out a strong paw to prevent it from crossing the line. That should give him a bit of confidence.
D. Origi
M. Škrtel
Liverpool
Klopp's hand is forced as the Skrtel injury requires him to take action. With the hole his side have dug for themselves in the first half, the manager brings on a striker for the centre-half in Divock Origi. Lucas will drop into defence alongside Sakho, while Can will then move into the now vacant holding role in midfield. Lallana drops alongside Henderson and then the Brazilian duo will flank the lone striker in Origi.
STAT: Ahead of MD17, only Manchester United (6) have kept more clean sheets at home in the Premier League this season than Watford (5).
Liverpool also need an added presence up top, be it Divock Origi or Christian Benteke. They're both able to act as target men, though the former may be the preferred man based on recent form alone - the ex-Aston Villa striker just hasn't done enough up to this point to prove to Klopp he can get the job done.
It's hard to believe I'm saying this, but Liverpool really need to get this game to half time. Every minute remaining is precious to them, but the way this first half is playing out they need to weather the storm, get into the locker room, regain their confidence and have Klopp whip them back into shape. They're lacking sharpness all over the pitch.
Bogdan is having a debut to forget. The keeper is panicked as ever in goal, struggling mightily to find a bit of composure. He's surely dealing with a shortage of confidence as he comes out to claim a simple ball, but criminally tries to punch clear. It rattles straight off Ighalo and back towards goal, but Skrtel is able to clear and prevent a third Watford goal.
Hard fall for Skrtel who gets bundled into in the air by a combination of Lucas and Deeney. He comes down very awkwardly on his back and it's not looking good for his participation in the remainder of the match as he moves very slowly when he gets to his feet - though he seems to be pleading his case still.
STAT: If Premier League games ended at half-time this season, Watford would be top of the league with 27 points.
This has been a perfectly-executed first half from a Watford viewpoint. They've made the very most of their possession, despite limited chances, and have suffocated Liverpool in possession. The Reds' Brazilian duo up top have been starved of service and made to fight for every inch of space.
Liverpool seem to be growing discouraged and they're struggling to advance the ball into the final third. The likes of Can and Henderson need to do better to help in transition, with the midfield trio of the Reds yet to really get themselves involved in the match.
Moreno and Abdi have a bit of a coming together, and frustration gets the better of the Spaniard who promptly lunges into a dangerous tackle on Nyom, catching the knee of the defender who is not at all happy with the challenge. It's all coming to a boiling point here, but Mark Clattenburg does well to settle things at least for the time being.
Ake looking lively down the left flank for Watford. He didn't arrive at the club as a left-back, but Flores saw something in him and gave it a go. The Dutchman has flourished in every sense of the word since making the switch and appears so comfortable out wide - and he certainly isn't lacking for pace.
Klopp animated as ever on the touchline. Liverpool have a ton of work cut out for them, but they do have the quality in the ranks to overturn this deficit. In reality they haven't started poorly by any means, but a horrific error from Bogdan and then a quick break from the in-form Ighalo has dug quite a hole for the Reds.
STAT: Odion Ighalo has scored a higher proportion of his team's Premier League goals this season than any other player (56% - 10 of 18). He is the first Watford player to score 10 goals in a Premier League season. This latest tally has given him 11 on the season.
T. Deeney
Assist
Watford
Often times when Ighalo scores, Deeney is behind it in some way and that's true in every sense of the word here as the formidable partnership strike yet again.
O. Ighalo
Goal
Watford
INCREDIBLE! THE MAN CAN'T STOP SCORING! Deeney picks out a ball for Ighalo, who has a ton of work to do still. The forward over-powers Skrtel to get on the end of it and from a very difficult angle he's able to bounce a strike past Bogdan, off the far post and in!
Watford have an uncanny ability to frustrate their opponents with hard work in defence and uninterrupted focus and organisation at the back. They afford so few openings and then have the pace to hit back at teams on the counter.
DECENT EFFORT! We've seen him score from much farther out, that Coutinho. He latches onto a pass in the centre and curls an encouraging effort on target from 25-yards out, but it's just close enough to Gomes for the keeper to get across and catch.
Liverpool have grown in stature since falling behind, now dictating the tempo and dominating possession. The Reds are taking a very direct approach on the ball and are giving Watford plenty to think about in defence. If they keep this up they shouldn't have to wait too long for their equaliser.
STAT: Watford last beat Liverpool in August 1999 at Anfield, a 1-0 triumph on the back of Tommy Mooney’s goal. The Reds have won five in a row against the Hornets across all competitions.
It's a start the Hornets could have only dreamt about! Quite the opposite, however, for Bogdan who has waited patiently to get his chance in the team and then when he finally does, this happens. This will be a great test of his mental fortitude to see how he's able to bounce back from this over the rest of the 90 minutes.
N. Aké
Goal
Watford
SHOCKING! A HOWLER FOR BOGDAN AND WATFORD LEAD! The Hungarian keeper's first Premier League touch of the ball sees him inexplicably drop a routine corner at the feet of Nathan Ake, who has the simplest of tap-ins to give Watford the very early advantage!
And we're off!
Party-like atmosphere at Vicarage Road as these teams take their place on the pitch and get set for kick-off. This promises to be a cracking match.
Not a single change made by Quique Sanchez Flores, who feels no need to tamper with a squad that has won three-consecutive Premier League matches. Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney maintain their partnership up top, with the pair proving a nightmare for defenders this season with their impressive linkup play, combined with their terrific pace and work ethic. Valon Behrami has been included amongst the substitutes and could return following a brief spell on the sidelines with a calf injury. Sebastian Prodl remains out.
Jurgen Klopp has to make do without the likes of Simon Mignolet (hamstring), Dejan Lovren (knee), James Milner (calf) and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring). Adam Bogdan makes his first Premier League start for the Reds as a result in goal, and has the chance to put a bit of pressure on the underperforming Belgian keeper. Mamadou Sakho also returns to the starting lineup, featuring for the first time since early November. Lucas Leiva replaces the injured Milner in midfield, while Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who trounced Manchester City the last time they started together, make up the front three.
SUBS: Behrami, Oulare, Guedioura, Anya, Holebas, Diamanti, Arlauskis.
WATFORD (4-4-2): Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake; Abdi, Watson, Capoue, Jurado; Ighalo, Deeney.
SUBS: Toure, Benteke, Allen, Origi, Ibe, Fulton, Randall.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Bogdan; Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Lucas, Can; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Watford have been writing probably the most underappreciated story of the Premier League season thus far. They have flown largely under the radar, mostly due to spotlight-stealing Leicester, but have 25 points through 16 games and can move to within one point of the top four with a victory today. Time will tell whether or not they can keep it up, but they can enjoy it while it lasts.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Liverpool’s trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford, as the two battle for positioning in the top half of the table. An last-gasp equaliser salvaged a point for the Reds against West Brom last weekend as the Jurgen Klopp era continues to take shape. The enigmatic manager seems to have restored belief at Anfield, but he’s still in the process of figuring out his best XI – something that’s proving difficult with health a prevailing factor.
Comments ()