The new Premier League season has started with a bang!
After Arsenal’s dramatic 4-3 win over Leicester opened proceedings on Friday night, Watford and Liverpool played out another thriller on Saturday lunchtime in the second match of the 2017/18 campaign.
Liverpool had looked set to take all three points as they twice fought back to lead 3-2 at Vicarage Road but Miguel Britos’ injury-time strike earned the hosts a share of the spoils.
Watford had made an excellent start in manager Marco Silva’s first competitive game in charge and led on nine minutes when Stefano Okaka powerfully headed home Jose Holebas’ corner.
Liverpool levelled on the half hour mark with their first real attack of the game, when Sadio Mane combined brilliantly with Alberto Moreno and Emre Can before firing past Heurelho Gomes.
The visitors weren’t level for long, though, as Watford retook the lead just two minutes later.
Trent Alexander-Arnold failed to clear a dangerous Tom Cleverley cross and the ball fell kindly to Abdoulaye Doucoure, who turned home from close range.
Watford deserved their 2-1 half-time lead and Jurgen Klopp would have had harsh words for his sluggish side at the break.
Whatever Klopp said, it appeared to pay-off as the visitors looked a different team in the second half.
Liverpool showed much greater purpose and nine minutes into the second half they were level from the penalty spot.
After the lively Salah was felled in the box by Gomes, Roberto Firmino stepped up and sent the Watford goalkeeper the wrong way.
Just two minutes later and the Reds were ahead for the first time in the match. It was the same two players involved but this time Firmino was the architect and Salah the scorer.
Firmino latched on to a long Dejan Lovren pass and coolly lobbed the ball over Gomes into the onrushing path of Salah, who stabbed home.
Liverpool looked to wrap up the win and came close to doing so when Joel Matip headed against the crossbar before Dejan Lovren forced a fine stop out of Gomes.
But they were unable to increase their lead – and paid the price for their missed opportunities three minutes into injury time.
Not for the first time, Klopp’s side failed to deal with a Holebas corner and after Simon Mignolet could only push the ball onto the crossbar Britos – who looked to be in an offside position – headed in from on the goalline.
What a start to the Premier League season – let’s hope it continues!