Arsenal’s record of 49 Premier League games without tasting a single defeat will remain intact. Watford, of all teams, have finally put a stop to Liverpool’s brilliant run at 44.
The Champions League holders suffered a shocking defeat at the Vicarage Road today (Saturday), but the manner in which they lost the game was perhaps even more surprising than the fact that they lost – they were completely outplayed by a relegation battling side. That fact proves that the Premier League is still the most challenging among the European top flights, whatever people say about it being ‘weak’ this season.
Watford successfully stifled Liverpool’s game without actually ‘parking the bus’. The Hornets worked really hard throughout the contest, combining high pressing with keeping the lines tight at the back in perfect measure.
The result probably won’t matter much to Liverpool as they keep their eye only on one thing – winning the Premier League title which has been eluding them for three decades. It will, however, matter much to Watford who need every point they can get between now and the end of the season if they are to avoid relegation.
As for Arsenal, the fans have very little to be proud of these days and they would likely be forgiven by any sensible Liverpool supporter for celebrating the Watford win today. The “Invincibles” record is a huge part of the legacy of the 22-year-long era under Arsene Wenger, which brought the Gunners a lot of joy in the days of its bliss.
There have been many debates this season as to who would win if the 2003/04 Arsenal side played against the 2019/20 Liverpool, but all such discussions are probably pointless. The evolution of the game in the 16 years between these two seasons has been enormous. Systems mostly dominate individual quality of the players these days, while back then we enjoyed the superb skills of the likes of Denis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, and the rest of that team.
Arsenal’s official Twitter account congratulated Liverpool on their fantastic run, and the gesture points in the right direction – respect between the clubs and the appreciation that both those teams were/are top class. Hopefully, Arsenal will be back among the best soon and new chapters of the rivalry will then be written.