Liverpool, reigning champions of England, conceded seven goals in a match for the first time in Premier League history in Sunday’s stunning 7-2 loss to Aston Villa, which narrowly avoided relegation to the second tier last season.
Ollie Watkins bagged a first-half hat trick for the Villains, while Jack Grealish capped the rout with a brace after the break in the most unthinkable result of this crazy Prem campaign yet.
The Reds might have known it wouldn’t be their day when Watkins punished an error by backup Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian, who was filling in in nets after first-choice backstop Alisson Becker suffered an injury in training ahead of the contest:
Watkins would score again before Mohamed Salah got the visitors on the board. But John McGinn restored Villa’s two-goal advantage shortly thereafter, and Watkins bagged his third to make it 4-1 before half was out.
Salah clawed another one back for Liverpool on the hour mark, but Grealish — who was excellent in Villa’s midfield all game — hit the target twice in a nine-minute span after that, completing the scoring with a quarter-hour still to go, mainly because of some more horrendous Reds defending. Seriously, where was the resistance on this sequence?
Liverpool’s loss came just hours after 10-man Manchester United dropped a 6-1 decision to Tottenham Hotspur. Historically, Liverpool and Man United are the two most successful clubs in the English game.
Liverpool had not been beaten by such a lopsided scoreline since they lost 7-2 to Tottenham in 1963, three decades before the Premier League debuted. A defending English champion had not conceded seven times in a top-flight league match since a decade before that.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had started the new season with three consecutive wins. Following the international break, the Reds will meet city rival Everton in the Merseyside derby in their next match on Oct. 17.