It’s a result that has pricked the attention of every football fan up and down the country, with Virgil van Dijk calling for ‘focus’ after Liverpool were dramatically beaten 3-0 at Vicarage Road.
After a record-breaking start to the season which had seen Liverpool win 26 of their opening 27 games, some had tipped Jurgen Klopp’s side to match the feat achieved by Arsenal‘s ‘Invincibles’ back in 2003/4.
However, any such hopes among Liverpool fans were shattered this evening, the Anfield outfit failing to score in a Premier League match for the first time since their 0-0 draw with Everton last March, and suffering their first league defeat since last January.
After what has been a relentless and ruthless season from the Reds, their display against Watford was almost unrecognisable, managing just one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes, with second-half goals from Ismaila Sarr (2) and Troy Deeney earning a deserved victory for the Hornets.
Having worn the armband for Liverpool in the absence of Jordan Henderson and James Milner, Virgil van Dijk said there is ‘no reason to panic’, the Reds having looked uncharacteristically vulnerable at the back against one of the divisions struggling sides.
Watford are the first team to score 3+ goals at home to Liverpool in the Premier League since Arsenal in December 2017.
Absolute scenes at Vicarage Road. 😱 pic.twitter.com/v8thpPZKJS
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 29, 2020
“Credit to Watford, they played well, a lot of fight, very disciplined and scored three goals – that’s the reality, we couldn’t find a way through. It was difficult and we have to do better,” the Dutchman told Match of the Day.
“Two throw-ins… we have to look at it, there is no reason for panic. We don’t want to concede, we look at it but we don’t have to panic.
“The record and the talk of the records is all media, we just try to win every game ahead of us.
“We will focus on the next game, the cup game, and we try to win there. We have to stay humble and work harder next game.”
The league leaders still need just four wins to claim their first league title in 30 years, though they have an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Chelsea to navigate first, and Van Dijk called on his teammates to ‘strike back straight away’.
“Losing hurts, the records are only for the media we didn’t mention it once, we keep going,” he added. “We want to win the next game in the FA Cup and then in the league against Bournemouth – I mean, that’s the only way forward.
“The whole season we haven’t lost a game like this. They did very, very well and we should have done better – we want to strike back straight away.”