EPL

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool: Watkins and Grealish shock Premier League champions

By Sports Desk October 04, 2020

Ollie Watkins struck a first-half hat-trick and Jack Grealish starred as Aston Villa claimed an incredible 7-2 victory over Premier League champions Liverpool on Sunday. 

Liverpool were without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson due to a shoulder injury and paid the price for some shambolic defending at Villa Park, with John McGinn adding to Watkins' treble in a rampant opening period for Dean Smith's men. 

Mohamed Salah doubled his tally either side of deflected goals for debutant Ross Barkley and Grealish, who contributed three assists in a brilliant display. 

Grealish added another as Villa had unending joy in springing the offside trap against Liverpool's high line, with the Reds conceding seven for the first time since a 7-2 loss to Tottenham in April 1963. 

Adrian's hopes of keeping a clean sheet were dashed within four minutes when his wayward pass to Joe Gomez was seized upon by Grealish, who squared for Watkins to slot home. 

Liverpool did not get a penalty for McGinn's contentious challenge on Salah, while Emiliano Martinez saw a similar error to Adrian's go unpunished before Watkins latched onto another Grealish pass and fired into the top-right corner. 

Salah halved the deficit, yet Villa's two-goal cushion was restored two minutes later when McGinn's wickedly deflected volley found the bottom-left corner. 

Watkins completed his treble before the first half was out by turning home Trezeguet's cross and former Everton midfielder Barkley extended their lead 10 minutes after the restart, aided by a significant touch off Trent Alexander-Arnold. 

Salah swept in a cool finish in the 60th minute but any hopes of a late charge were quickly extinguished by a Grealish strike that hit Fabinho to wrongfoot Adrian. 

Adrian managed to stop Watkins netting a fourth before Grealish made the most of a baffling decision to try to catch him offside on the halfway line, scoring his second. 

Watkins rattled the crossbar in the 85th minute but Liverpool were already set to suffer one of the most remarkable defeats in Premier League history. 

 
What does it mean? A first for Klopp 

Villa were in searing form and became the first team to put at least four goals past Liverpool in the opening half of a Premier League game since Klopp took charge in October 2015. 

In fact, the only time the Reds have conceded four in the opening period of a game in any competition during the German's tenure came on the same ground, when they went down 5-0 to Villa in the EFL Cup quarter-finals. 

However, on that occasion it was a second-string line-up and Klopp was not even in the dugout, as the first-team squad were away at the Club World Cup. 

Glorious Grealish 

Watkins may have become the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool since Dimitar Berbatov in 2010, but he could not have done it without Grealish. The midfielder had multiple assists in the same top-flight game for the first time and created a total of five chances for his team-mates. 

Awful Adrian 

With Alisson to be assessed "week by week", Klopp will be desperate to have him back as soon as possible. In his 21 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, Adrian has now committed five errors leading directly to goals. Alisson has the same amount in 92 such games. 

What's next? 

Liverpool will hope to get back on track after the international break with a Merseyside derby against Everton, while Villa face Leicester City next. 

Related items

  • Mbappe 'liberated' after bringing up PSG century Mbappe 'liberated' after bringing up PSG century

    Kylian Mbappe felt liberated after he ended his wait to move onto a century of goals for Paris Saint-Germain.

    France prodigy Mbappe reached 99 goals across all competitions for PSG when he scored a double against his former club Monaco in a 3-2 defeat on November 20.

    He failed to find the net in three appearances – against RB Leipzig, Bordeaux and Manchester United – before adding gloss to a 3-1 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

    With Moise Kean having thumped PSG into the lead in the 77th minute, Mbappe came on to score with his only attempt and wrap up the points for Thomas Tuchel's side in stoppage time.

    The 21-year-old has netted 74 of his 100 PSG goals in France's top flight, with a further 13 strikes coming in the Champions League, though he has not scored in Europe in nine matches.

    His remaining 13 goals have come in France's domestic cup competitions and the Trophee des Champions, while he has only scored from outside the box in Ligue 1 on three occasions.

    "I knew my statistics, yes. It had been a few matches that I wanted to score the 100th," he told Canal+.

    "This one wasn't the hardest. It's a liberation, especially at a big club like this and all the great players who have been here. When I signed here, I never thought I'd score 100 goals so quickly. It was part of the distant objectives.

    "Thank you to my team-mates and to the club for giving me confidence, whether in good times or bad. Thank you to everyone who works there.

    "I think I can score even more, offer more assists. It will come with time. I'm feeling better and better and going through matches will allow me to be even better physically."

    Mbappe is joint fourth, alongside Dominique Rocheteau, in the list of PSG's leading goalscorers, behind Pauleta (109), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (156) and Edinson Cavani (200).

    "Score 200 goals with PSG? Who knows," said Mbappe, who has often been linked with a move to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. "I never would have thought of 100 goals! You just have to think about the next game.

    "It's been three and a half years, and I've been through a lot here. It's great to have the support of the people."

  • Lampard warns table-topping Chelsea against getting carried away Lampard warns table-topping Chelsea against getting carried away

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has urged his players not to "get caught up in the chat" after they went top of the Premier League table.

    The Blues claimed a 3-1 win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Kurt Zouma and Christian Pulisic to move, temporarily at least, to the Premier League’s summit.

    Alongside second-placed Tottenham, who face Arsenal on Sunday, Chelsea are on the joint-longest unbeaten run in the division after their victory at Stamford Bridge made it nine games without defeat.

    They are the league's top scorers with 25 goals and have also kept five clean sheets – than any other top-flight team.

    Lampard, however, does not want his squad to get carried away despite the impressive numbers which appear to suggest they could be title challengers.

    "It's early December and there's a long way to go. But we are progressing," he told Sky Sports.

    "Whether it's this season we get to the heights we want, I don't know. But we are moving in the right direction.

    "When you bring in new players, have young players, you're trying to integrate them. I'm really pleased. It's work on the training ground and staff behind the scenes.

    "At our level, at Chelsea, people will always question us. Our job is to not get caught up in the chat.

    "We have to keep our feet on the ground. There's a long, long way to go. At the minute we're in a patch."

    Chelsea's variety of goalscoring options is reflected by the fact 13 of their players have now found the net this season – four more than any other club.

    Among them is Zouma, whose powerful header midway through the second half put Chelsea ahead on Saturday after Giroud cancelled out Patrick Bamford's early opener.

    France defender Zouma has four goals in 10 Premier League games this season, as many as he managed in his first 141 games in the competition, while Pulisic became the latest Chelsea player to find the net when he slid in to divert Timo Werner's cross home late on.

    Lampard acknowledged the importance he has placed on improving their attacking threat in different areas, and especially from dead-ball situations.

    He added: "We have worked on his finishing from set-pieces, but there's something about the group at the moment. They're really knuckling down and Kurt is full of confidence.

    "He thinks he will score. Set-pieces are huge, if you want to do anything in the Premier League you have to be good at set pieces."

  • Koeman: If we do not improve our attitude, there is nothing else to say Koeman: If we do not improve our attitude, there is nothing else to say

    Ronald Koeman has demanded Barcelona's attitude in away matches improve after the they went down 2-1 to Cadiz in LaLiga.

    Barca had lost just one of their previous eight fixtures in all competitions heading into Saturday's clash with Cadiz, who had already claimed the scalp of champions Real Madrid this term.

    The only defeat in that run came at the hands of Atletico Madrid in Barca's last away outing in LaLiga, however, and their poor form on the road under Koeman continued as Alvaro Gimenez and veteran forward Alvaro Negredo clinched another famous win for Cadiz, who had just 17.9 per cent possession.

    Cadiz moved up to fifth, while Barca sit 12 points behind leaders Atleti, who overcame Real Valladolid 2-0, with their tally of 14 points from 10 league matches their lowest since 1987-88 when adjusted to three points for a win.

    Barca had 21 attempts, though only eight hit the target, and Koeman's side had to rely on an own goal from Pedro Alcala to get on the scoresheet.

    The Blaugrana have failed to win four straight away LaLiga games (D1 L3) for the first time in a single season since 2007-08 under Frank Rijkaard.

    The result was one that Koeman planted firmly on his players, insisting that Barca's attitude on their travels has not been up to scratch.

    "We can't concede a second goal like that. It's a lack of concentration," Koeman told Movistar of Negredo's goal, which came when he charged down Marc-Andre ter Stegen after Clement Lenglet failed to control a throw-in.

    "It's hard to explain what happened because we had a good week. I think the first half wasn't good. We lost a lot of balls. There was a little improvement in the second half.

    "It's a giant step backwards to be able to compete for LaLiga. I'm very disappointed. There are many points dropped away. If we do not improve the attitude away from home, there is nothing else to say.

    "We have ups and downs in our games, in our attitude, although in principle it is good, but there are moments that it is not.

    "When we don't have the ball, we fail a lot. This is an attitude [problem] of the whole team."

    Barca have conceded first in their past four away league matches, a trend which concerns Koeman, who claimed his team are letting in the types of goals his former clubs have not.

    "In away games they put us behind and that's more complicated," he continued.

    "We don't have spaces to play and also, and we have to know this, we conceded goals that I couldn't think of happening in other teams that I have coached.

    "It is very difficult to explain, it may be because we lack concentration, we lacked aggressiveness, but it is not easy to explain how we conceded the second goal."

    Next up for Koeman is a home clash with Juventus in the Champions League, though both sides have already qualified for the last 16.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.