A sensational first-half hat-trick from Ollie Watkins helped Aston Villa to a stunning 7-2 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League yesterday and ended the champions’ 100% start to the season in extraordinary fashion.
Liverpool started badly at Villa Park as a poor pass from Adrian — deputising for Alisson in goal for the visitors after the Brazilian picked up a shoulder injury — gifted Watkins the opener in the fourth minute.
If there was an element of good fortune about Watkins’ first goal in a Villa shirt, his second was all his own fine work as he cut inside before firing into the top corner to stun the champions and make it 2-0 in the 22nd minute.
Mohamed Salah’s fine left-foot finish seemed to get Liverpool back in the game in the 33rd minute, but John McGinn’s deflected strike two minutes later restored Villa’s two-goal advantage.
Watkins completed his hat-trick inside 39 minutes, with former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley making his debut after joining Villa on loan making it five, 10 minutes into the second half.
Salah did give Liverpool hope on the hour mark, before a late double from Grealish completed a remarkable victory for the team who just avoided relegation last season.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho humiliated his former club Manchester United as Tottenham swept to a stunning 6-1 win at Old Trafford, while Arsenal moved into the Premier League’s top four with a 2-1 victory against Sheffield United, yesterday.
Tottenham boss Mourinho was sacked by United in 2018 after a turbulent reign, but it was his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was left red faced after a shambolic display from the hosts.
Despite taking the lead through Bruno Fernandes’ second minute penalty, United collapsed as they conceded four goals in the first half of a league match for the first time since 1957.
Tanguy Ndombele equalised in the fourth minute after dismal defending from Harry Maguire and South Korea forward Son Heung-min made it two from Harry Kane’s seventh minute quick free-kick.
United were reduced to 10 men when Anthony Martial was harshly sent off in the 28th minute for his reaction to a push from Erik Lamela.