Liverpool’s hopes of remaining unbeaten for an entire Premier League season were ended in sensational style by a rampant Watford at Vicarage Road.
Ismaila Sarr scored twice while captain Troy Deeney added a third in a sparkling second-half display from the hosts as Liverpool’s run of victories was brought to a shuddering halt.
The Reds had won their past 18 Premier League games and another at Vicarage Road would have made history as the longest winning run in the English top flight.
But they never got going against a Watford side who were superb from start to finish and who move out of the relegation zone as a result.
Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
The Hornets had more chances in the first half and only a superb save from Alisson, to deny Troy Deeney, prevented them from leading at the break.
However, Watford deservedly went in front when Abdoulaye Doucoure squeezed a cross in from the left and the impressive Sarr was there to stab in.
Liverpool had fallen behind against West Ham last week but still managed to grind out a win. However, there was a feeling that this time was different, with the Reds sloppy in possession and lacking bite in attack.
It was no surprise that Watford doubled their advantage. Sarr was put through on goal by Will Hughes and the winger calmly lifted the ball over Alisson and into the net.
Captain Deeney then completed a famous victory, curling into the back of the net from the edge of the area.
Elsewhere, Marcos Alonso scored twice as Chelsea came from behind to earn a point against struggling Bournemouth in an entertaining encounter at Vitality Stadium.
Wing-back Alonso followed in Olivier Giroud’s shot which had come back off the bar to open the scoring in the 33rd minute and struck again five minutes from time to rescue the Blues, whose top-four aspirations were dealt another blow.
The hosts fought hard defensively to protect their slender lead, but Chelsea’s late pressure eventually told as Alonso popped up in the right place once again.
The draw sees Chelsea edge four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday