Belfast Telegraph

Watford v Liverpool - story of the match

Miguel Britos scrambled home a controversial injury-time equaliser as Watford held Liverpool in a six-goal thriller at Vicarage Road.

The Reds looked as though they had put all speculation and uncertainty over Philippe Coutinho's future to one side to win their opening Premier League clash, only for Britos to head home from point-black range in the dying moments to seal a 3-3 draw.

Stefano Okaka opened the scoring with just eight minutes gone, with Abdoulaye Doucoure re-establishing the Hornets lead shortly after Sadio Mane had equalised.

Liverpool rallied and Roberto Firmino levelled from the penalty spot after debutant Mohamed Salah was fouled, with the Egypt international then poking the visitors ahead, only for Britos to pounce late on and give Marco Silva a positive first outing as Watford boss.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Blimey! 12 goals in 2.5 hours football. Might need to extend @BBCMOTD tonight" - Match of the Day host and former England striker Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) is not sure all the action from the opening two games can fit on the show.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Roberto Firmino. With all the talk surrounding the future of Coutinho, it was his Brazil team-mate who stirred Liverpool here. After a quiet first half, the forward coolly dispatched his penalty to send Heurelho Gomes the wrong way and draw the Reds level. Just two minutes later he turned provider, whether he meant to or not, as his lob over Gomes was poked home by Salah.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Britos' goal may have been scrappy, and potentially offside, but it came at just the right time for Watford to take a share of the spoils. With the five minutes of stoppage time almost elapsed, the defender was on hand to prod the ball over the line to give the Hornets the point that their performance deserved.

DATA POINT

The six goals here, coupled with Arsenal's 4-3 victory over Leicester on Friday night, means that after two games of the new campaign, the Premier League is averaging a goal every 13 minutes.

RATINGS

Watford

Heurelho Gomes: 5

Daryl Janmaat: 5

Younes Kaboul: 6

Miguel Britos: 6

Jose Holebas: 6

Abdoulaye Doucoure: 7

Nathaniel Chalobah: 7

Nordin Amrabat: 6

Tom Cleverley: 7

Roberto Pereyra: 7

Stefano Okaka: 7

Substitutes

Kiko Femenia (for Janmaat, 17): 6

Richarlison (for Pereyra, 49): 6

Andre Gray (for Okaka, 63): 6

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet: 5

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6

Joel Matip: 7

Dejan Lovren: 6

Alberto Moreno: 6

Jordan Henderson: 6

Emre Can: 7

Georginio Wijnaldum: 6

Mohamed Salah: 7

Sadio Mane: 7

Roberto Firmino: 8

Substitutes

Divock Origi (for Firmino, 81): 6

James Milner (for Salah, 86): 6

Joe Gomez (for Alexander-Arnold, 90): 6

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Bournemouth v Watford (Premier League, August 19)

Hoffenheim v Liverpool (Champions League play-offs, August 15)

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