Report and free highlights as Aston Villa thrash champions Liverpool; Ollie Watkins’ perfect first-half hat-trick inspires Dean Smith’s side; Villa up to second as they continue their winning start; Liverpool concede seven goals for the first time since 1963
Sunday 4 October 2020 21:47, UK
Aston Villa hit seven goals past champions Liverpool as they emphatically made it three wins from three in the Premier League with a stunning 7-2 victory at Villa Park.
Ollie Watkins’ perfect hat-trick and John McGinn’s deflected volley left Jurgen Klopp and his side, who scored through Mohamed Salah’s 100th goal in English football, stunned and 4-1 down at the break, and it could have been more had Ross Barkley converted any of his three golden opportunities.
Dean Smith’s side continued to cut through a shell-shocked Liverpool in the second half as deflected goals from Barkley and Jack Grealish further extended their lead.
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Klopp’s side did net another goal, again from Salah, but it was the hosts who completed the scoring, on what was a magical evening, as captain Grealish added a seventh.
It is the first time Liverpool, who produced “one of the worst defensive performances I’ve ever seen!”, according to Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher, have conceded seven goals since a 7-2 league defeat at Tottenham in April 1963. They are down to fifth after their own perfect start to the season was ended in remarkable fashion.
Meanwhile, Villa, who have a game in hand, are up to second in the table on goal difference as we move into the international break.
How Villa embarrassed the champions
Villa took the lead in the fourth minute and they never looked back.
Grealish pounced upon Adrian’s poor pass before squaring to Watkins, who had a simple finish for his first Premier League goal.
He did not have to wait too long for his second and it was one to remember as the club-record signing cut inside Joe Gomez and fired a right-footed shot past Adrian into the top corner.
It could have been even worse for Liverpool as Villa continued to cut them to shreds, exploiting their high defensive line, but Barkley missed two glorious chances with the goal at his mercy.
Liverpool did eventually pull a goal back through Salah’s exquisite 33rd-minute finish, but the expected comeback from the champions never materialised.
Smith’s side continued to take the game to Liverpool, and they restored their two-goal advantage when McGinn’s volley went in via deflection off Virgil van Dijk.
And then Watkins remarkably completed a perfect first half hat-trick, heading home from Trezeguet’s cross to make it 4-1 at the break.
Klopp threw on Takumi Minamino in place of Naby Keita as he tried to get some sort of grip on the game, but they could not cope with the attacking threat of Villa.
Barkley finally got his debut goal in the 55th minute, hitting a shot from outside the box that flew off the boot of Trent Alexander-Arnold and past Adrian.
Salah then grabbed his second of the game with 30 minutes remaining, but it proved only to be a consolation as Villa restored their four-goal cushion six minutes later with Grealish benefiting from another deflection off Fabinho to find the bottom corner.
Grealish then put the exclamation mark on what was an incredible night at Villa Park, grabbing his second of the night as Villa beat the Liverpool offside trap yet again. The Villa captain raced onto McGinn’s through ball before calmly beating Adrian to cap a unbelievable night for his side.
Man of the Match – Ollie Watkins
⭐️ Man of the match, Ollie Watkins
4 on target
1st player to score a first-half ⚽️⚽️⚽️ v Liverpool in PL since Andy Cole for Newcastle in Nov 1993 pic.twitter.com/I7mSL5p64g
Opta stats – Liverpool’s defensive horror show
- This was the first time Liverpool conceded seven goals in a match in all competitions since April 1963 in a 7-2 league defeat at Tottenham.
- Liverpool are the first reigning English top-flight champions to ship seven goals in a league match since Arsenal against Sunderland in September 1953.
- Liverpool’s 11 goals conceded is their most after four games of a league season since 1937-38 (also 11).
- Adrian has made five errors directly leading to opposition goals in his 21 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions; as many as counterpart Alisson has in 92 such matches.
After the international break, Liverpool travel to Premier League leaders Everton for the Merseyside derby at 12.30pm on October 17. On the same day, Aston Villa travel to Leicester City at 3pm.
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