MX23RW : Wednesday, July 18 03:18:20
Aug 12, 2017 at 12.30pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,407
Okaka (8'), Doucoure (32'), Britos (90')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Mane (29'), Firmino (55' pen.), Salah (58')
Mane (37'), Alexander-Arnold (61'), Mignolet (88')

Live Commentary: Watford 3-3 Liverpool - as it happened

Live Commentary: Watford 3-3 Liverpool - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's coverage as Watford earn a late 3-3 draw against Liverpool during a memorable Premier League opener at Vicarage Road.

Watford faced Liverpool on the opening Saturday of the new Premier League season with Marco Silva and his Hornets aiming to prevent a worrying slide in league form during 2017.

The hosts started impressively and were able to take a 2-1 lead into the break, only for Liverpool to seemingly put themselves in the driving seat with two second-half goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

With Liverpool leading 3-2 going into injury time, Silva's men stole a memorable point at home as Miguel Britos somehow ushered the ball over the line from Richarlison's knock down to stun Jurgen Klopp's side.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

2.33pmHow do you explain that one to the grandchildren then? Somehow Liverpool transpire to shoot themselves in the foot again and they probably have Wijnaldum to blame. He should have cleared at the front-post, but instead allowed Richarlison to get the better of him. Welcome back to the Premier League! That is going to be all from me this afternoon, thanks for joining us...


90+5 minThey have done it! From the resulting corner, Wijnaldum should head clear at the front post, where Richarlison is instead allowed to bundle the ball towards goal. The deflection then takes another touch off Britos, who is able to divert the ball beyond Mignolet.


90+3 minCLOSE! From a corner Mignolet is put under some serious pressure but is able to punch clear. Britos then follows up with a thumping shot, which the keeper has to punch wide for a corner.

90+1 minSUBSTITUTION: Klopp aims to eat up some of those minutes as Alexander-Arnold is replaced by Joe Gomes at right-back.

90 minFive minutes of additional time at Vicarage Road! Five long minutes...

89 minMore strong work from Gray sees Mignolet put under some slight pressure with the ball bobbling back into the keepers' arms on the edge of the box. The visitors are surely in for a testing couple of minutes now...

86 minWatford seem rather tired now and Mane aims to stretch the defence. The winger goes beyond the full-back and the cuts a pass square to an unmarked Wijnaldum, who skews his shot wide of the goal and is made to wait for that elusive away goal for the Reds.

85 minJust under five minutes to go now, is there another twist to come in this contest? Watford have gone a bit flat after going behind, although Gray has looked menacing when the ball is pumped long.

83 minLiverpool fans are surely going to come to love Salah. His pace could be so crucial on the break going forward into the season. Henderson shapes a brilliant, curling ball for the Egyptian's run in beyond the defence, but Gomes reads well and is able to gather inside his box.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Klopp makes a change, arguably with the Champions League qualifier in mind, as Firmino is replaced by Divock Origi in attack.

77 minSalah has grown into the contest and you might expect that as Watford's defence tires. This time the wide man races beyond Holebas at left-back, only to drill his effort into the side-netting.

74 minCLOSE! You never know with Mignolet, do you... The Liverpool stopper almost makes a meal of a cross into the middle with Gray lurking, but the keeper gets a luckily break and is able to gather at the second attempt unchallenged.

72 minYou sense Klopp's men are finding some confidence having gone in front. Salah draws away from his marker on the right and receives a bouncing ball in space. Instead of looking for the cut-back, the winger attempts a volley on the drop, but can only blast his effort over the crossbar.

70 minSAVE! The corner again comes swinging towards the front-post, where Lovren sends a header down on the bounce only to be thwarted by a smart stop from Gomes on the deck.

68 minCan has turned things around in the second period. This time the midfielder produces a wonderful touch to take the ball out of the air and then earn a free kick 40 yards out from goal. The ball into the box is an inviting one, leaving Kaboul to head away for the corner.

66 minCLOSE! Gray shows his quality already when he looks to break beyond the Liverpool back-line on the counter. He is almost found with a through-ball, but Matip recovers with a standout sliding interception.

65 minCHANCE! Liverpool are so close to killing the game off. A corner is turned in towards the near-post, where Matip leaps above his marker. The centre-back gets a wonderful flick on the ball to send it goalwards, only to see his header cannon back off the crossbar.

62 minSUBSTITUTION: Silva brings on his new main man Andre Gray, who takes the place of Okaka despite a strong showing from the forward today. Now being behind, you might have expected Silva to maybe use both of them together...

59 minMy word we have a game on ours hands! Watford go to sleep on the left channel after parity is restored, leaving the ball to break kindly for Firmino. The frontman chips a delightful finish over the head of Gomes, but it looks to be creeping wide of the post. Thankfully for the Reds, Salah makes a darting run beyond his marker and is able to cooly divert the ball into the centre of an open goal.


56 minThe Reds are back level and it is mainly courtesy of Salah. The winger comes in smartly from the run to start a run in behind the Watford back-line. He is picked out comfortably before knocking the ball past an on-rushing Gomes who eventually brings down the winger. Firmino then makes no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way...



54 minA moment of madness almost has Watford in a post of bother at the back. Amrabat claims back possession but then blindly plays the ball across his own back-line, where Mane breaks free before being challenged by his marker.

51 minA cagey start to the second half thus far. Salah has looked slightly more effective already having started to drift a little more from his position on the right. Watford are still pressing forward when possible and Fermina almost delivers a perfect ball into the box, but for the referee blowing his whistle for some shirt tugging inside the area.

49 minCLOSE! Salah finds himself some room over the on right and is able to bend a wonderful effort low down towards the bottom corner, but his shot flies just wide of the post.

47 minMore injury frustration now for the home side, who have lost Pereyra to a groin issue. Richarlison will come on a little earlier than expected.

45 minSECOND HALF! We are back underway at Vicarage Road...

1.33pmSilva will be wanting more of the same, especially when trying to exploit Liverpool's frailties from set-pieces. Okaka has been brilliant up top today.

1.32pmWhat does Klopp do from here? He will surely want his midfielders to keep hold of the ball a little more and allow Firmino to get in between the defensive lines. Liverpool's wingers have been all but marked out of the game, despite some commendable efforts from Mane to cause problems at the back.

1.22pmLiverpool have shown that one glimpse of attacking brilliance that allowed them to carve a route back into the match, but they have shot themselves in the foot on two occasions. Watford have been impressive in their approach to the game, with Silva clearly having drilled his side to within millimetres out there. The home side's marking of both Salah and Mane has been particularly impressive, while the threat of Firmino has been largely nullified too.

1.21pmSo the references calls time on a thrilling first half of football in Hertfordshire. Watford have looked scarily organised at times, while Liverpool have also appeared worryingly bad at the back. Given the run of play, Silva's men arguably deserve their lead here, having acted clinically to make use of two lapses at the back from Klopp's men.


45+2 minMore pressure from Liverpool going into the closing stages, this time as Alexander-Arnold swings in a ball to earn the Reds a corner. The delivery has pace on it and finds Mane, who sends a glancing header towards the far post and wide with Gomes left scrambling.

45+1 minAmrabat gives away a needless free kick over on the left flank, giving Moreno the chance to send a delivery into the box. His cross is a poor one, though, leaving Watford to clear the danger with relative ease.

45 minWe are going to have four minutes of additional time in the first half. Can the Reds find a route back into the contest before the break?

44 minThere is still ongoing debate about that second goal, but replays now show that there is no offside in the build-up to Cleverley's cross, regardless of what Klopp has had to say from the sidelines. His side have been poor in this opening half.

41 minMignolet has the chance to spread the ball on the counter after collecting a Watford corner. In a spirit typical of this first-half showing, the home side are quick out of the box and are somehow able to put the shutters down on Can as he aims to setup the break.

38 minCHANCE! Hmm... Salah should bury this. The winger does superbly to steal the ball off Holebas and move beyond the defence with just Gomes to beat. The angle is pretty tight, but does not warrant the poor effort from the wide man. Instead of putting his laces through the ball, Salah attempts to produce a toe-poke and ends up skying his shot over the crossbar from close range.

35 minThe same old questions being posed of this Liverpool defence then... You have to wonder what they do in training. Both of these goals have come via relatively rudimentary defensive mistakes. Watford will not mind though and they arguably deserve their lead here. Silva has the Hornets drilled well and the home side are making it extremely difficult for the Reds to find anything of worth in the final third.

33 minWhat an earth is going on here? Liverpool are level for all of three minutes, before Watford stun the visitors to go back in front. Some more terrible defending from Klopp's men sees the ball fall kindly into the path of Doucoure, who rifles home from all of six yards out. There are some suspicions of offside in the build-up and Liverpool might rightly feel aggrieved. Having said that, yet more poor defending from a crossing position has done for the Reds.


30 minAnd just as I say that, Liverpool level the scoring and what a beautiful move it is. The ball is worked around the edge of the area, before Mane pulls wide to earn possession. Can then receives the ball and produces a perfect flick in behind for the on-rushing Mane, who breaks beyond the defence and bends a wonderful shot beyond Gomes.


28 minSalah is doing his best to stretch the game, although the Watford wing backs are doing remarkably well in staying as part of a flat back-four, leaving no space in behind...

27 minLiverpool find themselves with some important possession on the edge of the Watford area, but the hosts stand firm with some good organisation. Watford eventually force Can into a needless error before stealing the ball back just short of the box. That has been the story of Liverpool's afternoon thus far.

25 minWatford are looking very impressive it must be said, especially when pressing hard on the Liverpool wingers. Salah and Mane have hardly had a sniff. Okaka does really well to put Matip under pressure and almost find himself with the loose ball, only for the linesman to flag for offside with Mignolet scrambling off his line.

22 minVery little movement sees Matip attempt to break forward for himself, leaving the ball to spill into the path of Wijnaldum. The playmaker seeks to feed the run in behind of Salah, but the Egyptian moves far too early and is adjudged to be offside.

20 minIt might only be 20 minutes in, but Liverpool are struggling to show any hint of a gameplan at the moment. The Reds have enjoyed a forays down the flanks, but they have been unable to retain the ball in key areas and Watford have been hot on their heels during every 50-50 for the ball.

18 minSUBSTITUTION: Real frustration for Janmaat as his game comes to a close. The defender is replaced by Kiko Femenia, who will earn his first Premier League minutes from the bench.

17 minSome promising industry from Alexander-Arnold at right-back allows the youngster to move inside, where Henderson swings in a cross that is soon headed clear by the home defence.

15 minSome slight concern for full-back Janmaat who is now down on the deck and receiving treatment. The defender has enjoyed a positive start to the game and the hosts will be aiming to keep him on the pitch if possible. Replays from the goal reinforce that idea of some torrid Reds defending. Okaka broke past two players unmarked to head home.

13 minWatford appear to be completely bypassing Liverpool's midfield two. This time Cleverley breaks from the middle and seeks to feed the run of Amrabat down the right channel. Thankfully for Liverpool, the winger sparks his run just a little too early and is flagged for offside.

11 minThat opener has seemingly buoyed the spirits of the hosts and the home fans are now in full song. Holebas makes good progress down the left to win a throw, which Matip does well to head clear. The ball is soon fed back into the area where it almost breaks kindly for an unmarked Amrabat. Testing times for the visiting defence!

9 minWelcome back to the Premier League, home to some of the strangest defending in the world... From the resulting free kick, Watford are allowed to swing a cross in towards the front post, where Okaka is left totally unmarked to head home from close range. Mignolet was able to get a hand to it, but there was really no stopping that effort. The Liverpool defence were nowhere to be seen there, everybody went to sleep at the back. Klopp will be fuming.


7 minSAVE! Watford fans will love this... Okaka shows great strength to roll his marker before feeding the run of Pereyra beyond Lovren. The striker spins and turns his man in order to release his shot on goal, which is deflected away for a corner by Mignolet.

6 minCLOSE! Brilliant work from Janmaat as he has the confidence to press up on Mane and steal possession inside the Liverpool half. The full-back puts in a teasing cross for the run of a loose Pereyra, although Matip does superbly to recover in time and head the ball away just as it appears to be falling for the run of the Watford playmaker.

5 minAlexander-Arnold has started brightly. The full-back finds room on the right before trying a through-ball for the run of Firmino. The striker has the beating of his marker, but is unable to gather the pass as Gomes rushes off his line to collect the loose ball.

4 minThe Liverpool press is already causing a few issues, this time as the visitors force Gomes into a panicked clearance. Mane picks up the loose ball and aims to chip a pass in for the run of Salah. Some good defensive reading from Britos allows the home side to head clear, though... A tidy start from both sides who are seemingly feeling their respective ways into the game.

2 minWatford look to test the visiting defence early on as Kaboul sends a ball long for the run of Okaka. Lovren has things covered for the Reds, as he is able to marshal the ball out for a goal kick despite the pace of the Watford forward.

1 minKICKOFF! We are moving in Hertfordshire...the hosts get things going kicking from right to left in yellow and black, while Liverpool feature in all red this afternoon.

12.27pmHere we go then, the players emerge to rapturous applause from the fans. Thank god (or whoever else) that Premier League football is back!

12.24pmToday represents Klopp's 100th game in charge at Liverpool and what better way to celebrate it than on the opening Saturday of the new season. The stadium is almost full now as we head towards kickoff. Vicarage Road is starting to bubble too, which proved a rare occurrence under the guidance of former boss Walter Mazzarri towards the back-end of last term.

12.20pmYou have to wonder what Moreno has shown Klopp during the summer. It looked almost certain that the full-back would be replaced on the left, but here he is starting today...

12.19pmPREDICTION! Not long to go now and it is time to make a prediction. Watford's woeful run in the league does not bode well for them this afternoon, but you would expect Silva to slowly arrest that slide. Despite that, Liverpool have the potential to be destructive going forward, especially down the flanks and that could prove to be decisive here. I'm backing the Reds for an away win, although I expect the visitors' defensive questions to be asked again. Liverpool to win 2-1...

12.15pmMane was missing for much of the second half of last season and his full return to fitness should be a huge boost for Klopp's charges. They will of course be without Adam Lallana, thought, who is due to miss the next two months through injury.

12.12pmHere is a quick snapshot inside the away dressing room ahead of kickoff, we are just under 20 minutes away from the start of this clash:

12.09pmThe main question asked of this Liverpool side has always surrounded their defensive frailties. The Reds have scored 133 Premier League goals since Klopp arrived, but the club have often proved susceptible at the back.

12.06pmSalah has impressed for Liverpool during their pre-season contests, but questions are still being asked of the winger following his mediocre displays for former club Chelsea. Having said that, the Egyptian could prove to be the perfect foil out on the left. This Liverpool side will now be able to play with real pace on both flanks, which could cause all sorts of problems for Watford this afternoon.

12.05pmSilva has already made it clear that his intention is to ensure that Watford retain their Premier League status come the end of the season. Here is what he told reporters ahead of this contest: "Our main goal is to continue to stay in the Premier League, but we want to do better than the last two seasons. That's important as well to us, and the way I work is to think game-by-game, prepare week-by-week, and be strong on matchdays."

12.03pmAnother problem area for Watford has been from corners. The club conceded a league-highest 16 goals from corners last term and that is something you just cannot do in the Premier League considering the physical prowess of most sides.

12.00pmOne benefit that Silva will bring to his side is the experience of managing sides on a budget. The Portuguese coach was unable to prevent Hull from being relegated last season, but the manager was able to go seven games unbeaten at home when he took over at the KC Stadium. That kind of steel and grit is something that could do Watford the world of good.

11.58amWatford have never been able to secure a win on the opening day of the Premier League season, drawing two and losing two. The club were able to secure a victory on the opening day of the First Division back in 1987, before going on to get relegated from the league.

11.56amOne of the major challenges for Silva this term will be finding a way to prevent what appears to be a terminal slide at the Hertfordshire club. As things stand, Watford are on their longest losing streak in the top tier. The Hornets lost all of their last six matches during the 2016-17 campaign.

11.53amThe visitors do not have the fondest of memories at this ground, really. Liverpool have won the past three meetings between the two clubs, having scored nine goals and conceding just one during 270 minutes of football. Despite that, Klopp's heaviest Premier League defeat came at this ground back in 2015 when the Reds went down 3-0 to Watford on a memorably cold day in December.

11.52amMuch has been made of Liverpool's current goalkeeping situation, but Simon Mignolet appeared to have turned a corner during the back-end of last season. The Reds are now striving to keep five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time in ten years.

11.51amThis will be no easy task for the Hornets, however, given that Klopp's side won their final four Premier League away fixtures last season and will be aiming to carry on that impressive away form at Vicarage Road.

11.49amThese opening-day fixtures tend to be favourable for Liverpool. The Reds are looking to win on the opening day for the fifth time in a row today. Having said that, though, three of Liverpool's previous four opening-day losses occurred away from home. Watford will be hoping to exploit that this afternoon.

11.44amFor Liverpool, there is also a Premier League debut for playmaker Salah, who is to form part of an attacking three alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane. Jordan Henderson has been declared fit to play and the England midfielder will therefore sit next to Emre Can slightly deeper in the middle. As expected, Roberto Firmino is the visitors' sole striker. One minor surprise is that Klopp has opted to put his faith in Alberto Moreno at left-back.

11.41amSo the major news for Watford fans is that former Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah starts in defensive midfield and makes his debut for the club. Stefano Okaka will lead the line up top, with further creativity being provided by a three in behind that includes Nordin Amrabat, Tom Cleverley and Roberto Pereyra. There is no sign of Hughes in the squad, although both Gray and Richarlison find themselves on the bench.

11.40amLIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Grujic, Solanke, Origi

11.40amLIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino

11.39amWATFORD SUBSTITUTES: Pantilimon, PrOdl, Femenía, Watson, Capoue, Richarlison, Gray

11.39amWATFORD STARTING XI: Gomes; Janmaat, Kaboul, Britos, Holebas; Chalobah, Doucouré; Amrabat, Cleverley, Pereyra; Okaka

11.38amAnyway, time for some team news now...

11.37amWill he remain for another season? It is hard to say at the moment given that there are so many conflicting reports in the press regarding Coutinho and Klopp's viewpoints on the matter. £100m-odd would not be a bad return for a player that the club signed for £8m, though... That said, who really could Liverpool get in to replace a player of that quality? The options are rather limited, especially at this late stage in the window.

11.36amBefore we get going on this game, though, it is hard to ignore yesterday's major piece of news with Philippe Coutinho handing in a transfer request following reported interest from Barcelona. He would never have played today following a back injury, but you have to wonder what sort of impact that shock revelation could have on this Reds side.

11.34amBoth sides have arguably had big summers in the transfer window. Watford have not only brought in a new manager, but have made some impressive signings in the shape of Andre Gray, Will Hughes, Richarlison and Nathaniel Chalobah among a few others. As for Liverpool, the club's signing of Mohamed Salah could be vital going forward.

11.32amSo it's back! Here we are then and what an opening fixture for Saturday's return. Marco Silva should likely bring some much-needed spark to this faltering Watford side, while Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool charges will be smelling progression after a top-four finish last term.

11.30amGood morning everyone and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage of Watford's clash with Liverpool on the opening Saturday of the new Premier League campaign.

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Andre Gray in action for Burnley on August 5, 2016
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