Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher admits he was worried the Premier League leaders would struggle against Watford, particularly when he saw that Dejan Lovren was in the starting XI.
The Merseysiders still have a mammoth 22-point lead at the top of the table, but their hopes of matching Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and finishing the season unbeaten were obliterated in a stunning second-half display from Watford.
The relegation-fighting Hornets had chances to open the scoring in the first half and were ruthless after the break, with Ismaila Sarr scoring a quick-fire double before Troy Deeney wrapped up the win.
Centre-back Lovren was brought into the side for his first start since December, though Carragher feels it was a ‘strange’ move from Jurgen Klopp and is concerned by the state of the defence.
Speaking on Sky Sports News on Sunday, he explained: ‘I don’t think many people did see it coming. Listen, I’m not being clever after, I thought it would be a tough game for Liverpool.
‘I didn’t think they’d get beat, but I thought it could be a draw and they’d maybe drop points, because I’ve been impressed, really impressed, with Watford under Nigel Pearson since he came in.
‘And his first game was actually at Anfield and I think I said on social media yesterday that the two toughest games Liverpool have had in the Premier League were against Watford, the one at Anfield and the one yesterday.
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‘But you have to look at it defensively and Liverpool weren’t right. I mean, the decision of the manager playing Lovren, I think everyone felt before the game that was a strange one.
‘He didn’t perform great. You never want to pick individuals out but it was a really poor performance from him, alongside the normally fantastic Virgil van Dijk who wasn’t himself also.
‘So there’s a slight worry there, because certainly if you look towards Atletico Madrid, Liverpool can’t afford to concede a goal at Anfield.’
Liverpool also suffered defeat in the Spanish capital in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash against Atletico, with Saul Niguez scoring inside four minutes, and now take on Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge.
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