BY SAMSON MBII,12TH AUG 2017-Miguel Britos struck deep into stoppage time as Watford secured a late point following a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The Premier League returned in thrilling fashion on Friday night with Arsenal’s dramatic 4-3 win over Leicester and the goals continued to flow at Vicarage Road with Stefano Okaka (8) and Sadio Mane (29) exchanging strikes.
Watford, led by Marco Silva for the first time in the Premier League, regained the lead soon after through Abdoulaye Doucoure (32) but second-half goals from Roberto Firmino (54) and Mohamed Salah (57) saw Jurgen Klopp’s side turn the game on its head.
And Liverpool, who hit the crossbar through Joel Matip, looked to be heading for all three points until Britos (90+4) struck to rescue a point for the Hornets.
Much of the build-up was dominated by the speculation surrounding Philippe Coutinho’s future at Anfield which was an unwelcome distraction for Klopp and his side ahead of the season opener.
They had further problems just nine minutes in as Okaka ghosted into the box unopposed to head Jose Holebas’ corner past Simon Mignolet from close range to give Silva the perfect start to his Watford reign.
Liverpool had hardly had a kick but found themselves back on level terms in the 29th minute when Emre Can’s sensational flick picked out Mane, who curled the ball into the top corner.
However, Klopp’s men were level for all of three minutes as Watford, who replaced the injured Daryl Janmaat with Kiko Femenia, took advantage of more poor Liverpool defending through Doucoure’s close-range finish.
Immediately after the break Watford lost Roberto Pereyra to injury, handing Richarlison his Premier League debut, and they lost their lead, Firmino making no mistake from the spot after Salah was brought down by Heurelho Gomes.
Liverpool completed the turnaround three minutes later. Dejan Lovren’s long ball picked out Firmino, who lifted the ball over the onrushing Gomes, leaving Salah to bundle the ball home from close range to secure a debut goal.
The visitors went close to extending their lead when Matip’s header cannoned back off the crossbar and Salah’s shot rustled the side netting, but missed chances came back to haunt the Reds deep into injury time.
Mignolet parried Richarlison’s shot onto the bar but the ball dropped to Britos, who bundled the ball over the line to secure a share of the spoils.