“It’s hard to lose the way we lost tonight. First and foremost well done to Aston Villa, we have to give them the credit they deserve. It was one of those performances where we weren’t 100 per cent at it from start to finish,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk told Sky Sports.
“Overall, we’re all disappointed, we shouldn’t have lost with the numbers that we did but it’s about sticking together and making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Liverpool began 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.
Adrian has made five errors directly leading to opposition goals in his 21 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions, the same number as Alisson in 92 games for the club.
Ahead of the Spaniard, a full-strength Liverpool defence was carved open again moments later, with former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley – making his debut after joining Villa on loan – gifted another chance, but he dragged his effort wide.
“All the things you should not do in a football match we did tonight,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. “The first goal had an impact but it shouldn’t. We conceded goals like that in the past, but the reaction wasn’t good, and we lost the plot.”
If there was an element of good fortune about Watkins’s 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 a perfect hat-trick inside 39 minutes with his head, becoming the first player to score a Premier League treble against Liverpool in over a decade, and Barkley made it five 10 minutes into the second half.
Salah did give Liverpool hope on the hour mark, but a late double from Jack Grealish completed the scoring.
It was a crushing defeat for Manchester United to a Tottenham side managed by Jose Mourinho, who was fired in 2018 to make way for Solskjær. And against a team that has played eight games in 22 days across three competitions and was trailing after two minutes at Old Trafford.
Only once since 1930 has United conceded six at home – to Manchester City nine years ago. Not since 1986 has United opened the league season with back-to-back home losses.
But after Bruno Fernandes’ penalty, United’s wretched defence allowed Tanguy Ndombele to level in the fourth minute and Son Heung-Min to net again inside three minutes.
United can be aggrieved that Erik Lamela’s apparent playacting led to Anthony Martial being sent off in the 28th minute. But the team was already being run ragged by Tottenham.
Harry Kane scored his first on the half-hour, Son netted again in the 37th, Serge Aurier was on target in the 51st and Kane wrapped up the rout from the penalty spot in the 79th.
West Ham sink Leicester
West Ham celebrated a stunning 3-0 win at Leicester City, ending the Foxes’ perfect start after three straight wins thanks to goals from Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen.
With their manager David Moyes absent after testing positive for coronavirus, the Hammers produced a breathtaking performance under his assistant Alan Irvine in their first away league win of the season.
The result provisionally left Leicester second in the standings on nine points from four games while the Hammers briefly climbed to sixth on six points ahead of the afternoon fixtures.
Following their impressive 5-2 win at Manchester City a week ago, Leicester were brought crashing down to earth against the visitors, who could have won by a bigger margin.
The home side’s miserable afternoon was summed up when Jamie Vardy missed a 90th-minute sitter before Harvey Barnes had a stoppage time goal scrapped by VAR after a one-two with Vardy who was marginally offside.
Wolves beat Fulham 1-0
Pedro Neto scored the only goal as Wolverhampton condemned Fulham to another Premier League defeat.
The forward’s strike earned the hosts a 1-0 win as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side rediscovered its form.
Alphonse Areola’s double save denied Neto and Nelson Semedo, while Aboubakar Kamara missed a great chance to level for the visitors.
It meant Fulham slipped to a fourth straight loss to remain bottom of the Premier League.
Bukayo sees Arsenal home
Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe scored within three minutes of each other to give Arsenal a 2-1 win and leave Sheffield United without a point so far this season.
Arsenal broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when Mohamed Elneny burst into the box and found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose ball in to Hector Bellerin saw the full-back cross for Saka to head home at the back post.
Southampton down West Brom
Southampton beat an insipid West Bromwich Albion 2-0 with goals either side of half-time from Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu at St Mary’s Stadium to leave the visitors in danger of dropping into the relegation zone.
Southampton’s second consecutive win and clean sheet moved them up to 10th in the standings while winless West Brom remained in 17th place with a point after four games, with the bottom teams having a game in hand.