LIVERPOOL - Watford secured a last gasp draw with Liverpool in a topsy-turvy encounter at Vicarage Road on Saturday in 3-3 score.
The Reds had come from behind twice to lead 3-2 and looked set for victory despite a far from convincing performance but Miguel Britos popped up for the hosts to score a well deserved equaliser in injury time.
The return of the Premier League enjoyed a breathless return at the Emirates on Friday night and that continued here with Stefano Okaka scoring after just eight minutes, before Sadio Mane levelled for Jurgen Klopp's men.
Watford then went ahead again in the first-half after some sloppy Liverpool defending which allowed Abdoulaye Doucore to tap-in at the back post.
Roberto Firmino and a debut goal from Mo Salah looked as though they had won it for the Reds as Marco Silva's men fell apart in the second-half, but the new Watford manager had the last laugh.
Here are five things we learned about the draw result...
1. Liverpool need to resolve the Coutinho situation…
The build-up to this game was dominated by Barcelona’s ongoing pursuit of Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho which must have been a distraction for Liverpool’s players and their fans.
The Reds maintain that they will not sell their star player, and on the evidence of today’s performance they will be a much stronger team if they keep him.
If he is to force his way out then Liverpool will need to work quickly to replace him. With Coutinho missing this through injury, the Reds got a glimpse of what their future without him will look like. Watford sat deep early on and Liverpool really missed the Brazilian forward’s guile and creativity in the final third.
While Watford eventually gifted them their second and third goals, they will struggle against better teams unless they have Coutinho – or a player of his ilk – to create chances of their own.
2. Buy some new defenders
It became clear after just eight minutes the reason why Jurgen Klopp has been pursuing Virgil van Dijk all summer. Liverpool’s defence was scythed open by Roberto Pereyra, whose shot was narrowly deflected wide by a flailing Dejan Lovren. The sense of relief soon disappeared for the Reds however as, from the resulting corner, Watford’s powerful centre-forward Stefano Okaka found himself in acres of space to nod home.
While the Reds got themselves back into it through Mane after half an hour, it then became clear once again that this Liverpool backline is far from one worthy of challenging for the Premier League title.
With poor covering from midfielders Jordan Henderson and Gigi Wijnaldum, the two centre-halves Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren looked exposed and were relentlessly bullied by Okaka who had a hand in Watford’s second, stretching the defence apart to leave Doucoure unmarked at the back post for an easy finish.