WATFORD, England (AP) — Liverpool conceded in second-half injury time to draw 3-3 at Watford on Saturday as the team’s defensive frailties flared in its first game of the Premier League season.
Scoring goals wasn’t a problem for Liverpool at Vicarage Road despite the absence of unsettled playmaker Philippe Coutinho but the visitors couldn’t keep them out either, showing lessons haven’t been learnt from last season.
Having already conceded two soft goals in the first half, Liverpool failed to deal with a near-post corner in the fourth minute of injury time. Richarlison fired in a shot from an acute angle that goalkeeper Simon Mignolet parried onto the crossbar, and Miguel Britos headed the loose ball over the line from less than a meter out.
Liverpool conceded 27 goals from set pieces last season, and two of Watford’s goals came from corners. The other Watford goal started from an attacking throw-in.
“Again we talk about set pieces, we need to be better,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said. “We worked a lot on them in preseason.”
It looked like Mo Salah was going to be the match-winner for Liverpool on his competitive debut, with the club’s record signing — for an initial 42 million euros ($46.8 million) — bundling in a close-range finish to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the 57th. Two minutes earlier, Salah earned a penalty that was dispatched by Roberto Firmino.
Watford striker Stefano Okaka was unmarked when he headed in from close range from a corner in the eighth minute for the opening goal of a frenetic game.