Miguel Britos scored a late, late equaliser to deny Jurgen Klopp as Watford and Liverpool played out a spectacular 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Miguel Britos scored a late, late equaliser to deny Jurgen Klopp as Watford and Liverpool played out a spectacular 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday. The Uruguayan snatched an unlikely equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time as he bundled home with the Reds looking destined for the three points.
Watford had led 1-0 and 2-1, but found themselves 3-2 down after they collapsed during a five minute spell in the second-half. Roberto Firmino (pen) and a debut goal from Mohamed Salah looked to have given Liverpool a second successive opening day victory.
Stefano Okaka gave Marco Silva's side an early lead after some questionable Liverpool defending from a corner exposed them. Saido Mane scored a cool equaliser to make it 1-1, but Watford restored order when Abdoulaye Doucoure tapped home just two minutes later.
Klopp's side upped the ante in the second period and Salah won a penalty which was scored by Firmino with considerable ease. The former Chelsea man then got the goal his play deserved, but in the end it wasn't enough with both sides taking a point a piece.
Silva handed a debut to just one of his seven new summer signings, Nathaniel Chalobah started in midfield after he made a permanent move away from Chelsea. Newest acquisition Andre Gray was on the bench. Meanwhile Salah made his first start for Jurgen Klopp's side, lining up on the right of a three pronged attack with Mane and Firmino.
The opening exchanges were fairly cagey, but the first goal on eight minutes brought the game into life. Okaka held off two challenges and played in Roberto Pereyra who's shot initially forced a corner, with the former was soon celebrating.
Jose Holebas whipped in a dangerous in-swinger and Okaka meet the ball at the near post and headed home with nobody around him. Even a hand from Simon Mignolet wasn't enough in what was some shocking defending.
Klopp tried to inspire and kick-start his team into action, but Liverpool looked very flat after going one down, Tom Cleverley causing more discomfort when he sent over a looping cross that Mignolet just about dealt with.
After the home side's strong start, they were about to be undone by a goal against the run of play on 29 minutes. The Reds' Player of the Year for last season, Mane was slipped in after a superb passage of play which saw Emre Can split the Hornets defence and the 25-year-old finished with aplomb.
For all of Liverpool's relief, they were to be right back to where they were a few minutes previous as Doucoure put Silva's men 2-1 ahead on 32 minutes. Cleverley found himself in acres of space on the right-hand side of the box and after Trent Alexander-Arnold failed to clear his low cross, the Frenchman finished from close-range.
The Merseysiders' frustrations were clear to see when Mane was booked for a late tackle on Doucoure, but Salah almost opened his account when he toe-poked over from close range. The half-time whistle gave Klopp the chance to re-rejuvenate his troops as the home side went in the much happier of the two.
Whatever the German gaffer said at the interval it clearly had an effect. Salah got through on goal and was hauled down by Heurelho Gomes with the referee awarding the Reds a penalty. Firmino stepped up and sent Gomes the wrong way with Liverpool equalising for the second time of the afternoon.
Then, that man Salah was involved again in a mad few minutes which saw the capture from Roma put Klopp's side into a 3-2 lead. Dejan Lovren chipped a delightful ball through and Firmino latched onto it and steered his attempt goalwards. The ball looked to be looping wide, but Salah came charging in and knocked it in from almost the goal line.
The Hornets really lost their sting after they fell behind for the first time during the game. Gray was brought on in their third and final switch, but it was Joel Matip who almost increased Liverpool's lead but his header hit the bar.
Other chances of note came from Lovren and Salah as the Reds tried desperately to put the game out of reach. Divock Origi and James Milner were introduced late on, the latter replacing Salah who had looked superb throughout the second-half.
Then, right at the death, Britos headed home after the ball bounced back up from the crossbar after Richarlison's effort. Mignolet parried it onto the underside of the bar and Britos headed in from a yard out to send Vicarage Road into raptures.