Liverpool’s first game in their new third uniform saw the defending champions suffer a shock 7-2 humbling at the hands of Aston Villa in Birmingham on Sunday. The Reds were donning the new black and red strip for the first time this season, but were well beaten by a Aston Villa side that had just about survived relegation in the 2019/20 campaign.
The pair of Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish played key role in Villa’s triumph. Watkins, a summer signing from Brentford, scored a “perfect” hat trick in the first half- netting with both feet and his head, while medio Grealish had three assists and two goals to his name as Dean Smith’s men created history at Villa Park.
Liverpool had Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara out due to Covid, but the rest played so badly that rumours were rife on social media that other players had caught the bug too. Goalkeeper Adrian, standing in for the injured Alisson, produced a howler to gift the home side their first. The pair of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander Arnold were well-below par in defence, and almost all of Villa’s goals came on their side. Leeds had shown that Liverpool’s high line was a vulnerable point, and in the absence of Alisson, a key player in that strategy, Villa exploited that fault time and again.
Even without their key trio, few expected Jurgen Klopp’s men to lose, much less for them to be on the receiving end of a 7-2 loss. BetMGM, who recently appointed Jamie Foxx as the face of their new campaign, had Villa as huge outsiders (+550) to beat the Reds.
In a game with such a scoreline, you’d normally expect a red card or a penalty, but there was nothing of that sort. Villa did have luck on their side- three of their goals were deflections, and Liverpool were denied what looked like a very reasonable penalty shout on Mo Salah early in the first half, but there was no denying the hosts were the better side on the balance of play- on another day it could even finished 8, 9 or even 10-2 in their favour.
Records created by Liverpool (losing in third kit to Villa)
First time the defending PL champions have conceded 7 goals in a league game
First time Liverpool have conceded 7 in a league game since 1963
First time a team coached by Jurgen Klopp has let in 7 goals
It was a day of extra-ordinary results in the league, with Leicester, who had beaten favourites Man City 5-2 in GW3, inexplicably losing 3-0 at home to struggling West Ham and Man United thrashed 6-1 by former manager Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side.
This result, while not the end of the world for Liverpool, does set up a very tasty Merseyside derby after the international break. Everton are top of the table with four wins out of four- a win for the Reds will see them go level with their rivals, but a loss could make things very interesting indeed.