Sunday, October 25, 2020

Liverpool stunned by Watkins´ first-half hat-trick as Aston Villa run riot

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Oct 2020

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Liverpool conceded four goals in the first half of a Premier League match for the first time under Jurgen Klopp as Ollie Watkins led an inspired Aston Villa charge on Sunday.

Villa took the lead after just four minutes through Watkins’ left-footed strike beyond Adrian – in for the injured Alisson – after he was teed up by Jack Grealish.

Without Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara due to coronavirus, Liverpool were 2-0 behind in the 22nd minute when Watkins thumped home a brilliant second, and though Mohamed Salah – who has now scored against 25 of the 26 teams he has faced for the Reds in the Premier League – pulled one back, John McGinn quickly restored Villa’s lead.

Watkins’ perfect trio of goals was completed in the 39th minute as he headed home from point-blank range, making him the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool since Dimitar Berbatov in September 2010 for Manchester United.

It means Klopp has seen his side concede four in the opening 45 minutes for the first time in a league game. 

Liverpool did let four goals in against Villa in the EFL Cup last season, though that was an inexperienced side which was not guided by Klopp, who chose to take Liverpool’s first-team squad to the FIFA Club World Cup.

It is the third time Liverpool have conceded three or more first-half goals in a Premier League game under Klopp, after doing so against Tottenham in 2017 and in July against Manchester City.

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