Liverpool lost momentum in their Premier League title chase as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Sunday. Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez had notable chances for the visitors in the first half, Jota was the better of the two and should have done better after trying to catch the goalkeeper at the near post.
The Hatters provided a consistent threat on the counter-attack throughout the match, with Chidozie Ogbene the standout for the home side and he almost punished Liverpool by beating Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold before making a crucial intervention from Alisson. Jurgen Klopp’s side then squandered their best chance of the second half when Mohamed Salah’s effort — which might have passed — found Nunez from close range, only for the Uruguay international to blaze his effort over the bar.
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Minutes later, Liverpool were punished as they conceded a dangerous counter-attack from a corner when Virgil van Dijk’s header was appealed for handball and Tahitian Chong put Luton one goal ahead. The home side couldn’t hold on, though, as the Reds managed to salvage a late point when Harvey Elliott found one of the second-half substitutes Luis Diaz, who equalized with a well-placed header.
Despite not getting the three points, Liverpool created enough chances to win the game, while Ryan Gravenbirch produced one of his best performances since joining the club in the summer.
Liverpool’s finishing was overall poor in a match which ultimately allowed Luton to take something from the game. All in all, these are games where the Reds must not drop points if they want to challenge Manchester City in the title race.
Jurgen Klopp, 7 — The Liverpool manager’s system looked good enough to create the chances needed to win the game, but his team squandered their best chances. The Reds looked even better after the triple substitution, with Luis Diaz, another late substitute, scoring the equaliser.
Player rating (1-10; 10 = best, players identified after 70 minutes receive no rating)
GK Allison, 6– Alisson didn’t have much to do in the first half, making a straight save from a shot from distance before Ross Barkley’s effort skidded over the bar. Yet he was crucial in the second half when Chidoji Ogbene got past Alexander-Arnold and Konate and only beat the goalkeeper. He couldn’t do much about the opener after a brilliant counter-attack by the hosts.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — Two dangerous balls early on saw the England international come close to finding Jota before late intervention and the Liverpool vice-captain got involved again with a pass for Nunez, who clipped his effort over the bar. He was forced to work hard defensively, with Luton focusing most of their attacks on him.
DF Ibrahim Konate, 5 — One of his best moments in the first half saw him break out of defense on the ball and take it into Luton territory, although he did hide a couple of fouls where he could have been clearer with his tackling.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 — Another promising display where he was flawless in his dual play, leading with his composure and confidence when required to tackle defensive situations.
DF Joe Gomez, 7– An assured outing for a player making his first start at left-back since 2015. He transitioned the ball well using both feet and did not create any danger on his flanks.
MF Dominik Soboszlai, 5 — Things didn’t quite pan out for the Hungary international on the day as he failed to make an impact and was eventually substituted in the second half.
MF Alexis McAllister, 6– The Argentina star helped set the tone for Liverpool to continue their dominance and he often made the right decisions with his passes to help the ball progress into more positive areas.
MF Ryan Gravenburch, 7 — The 21-year-old was a regular contributor to Liverpool’s best attacking play and was unlucky not to get an assist when he created his side’s best chance in the first half with an intelligent run and well-timed pass to Diogo. harness Gravenbirch’s performance at Kenilworth Road deserved more than a draw.
FW Mohamed Salah, 5– Liverpool’s star winger wasn’t as involved as he would have liked in the first half, with his only meaningful chance skidding over the bar. An Unusually Calm Day Overall: He seemed better after Elliot’s introduction, but was generally disappointed.
FW Darwin Nunez, 5– Six of Liverpool’s 11 shots were taken in the first half and Alexander-Arnold came closest with his effort clipping the bar from a pass. The Liverpool forward then missed a huge chance from close range in the second half — a moment that would have been the turning point with a more composed finish.
FW Diogo Jota, 6 — The Portugal international was brilliant in Liverpool’s attack and tried to catch the goalkeeper with a snapshot towards the near post from the best chance of the first half, but it looked as if an effort in the opposite direction would be unstoppable.
MF Harvey Elliott, 7 (for Soboszalai, 67″) — Elliott added energy to Liverpool’s side and immediately picked up an assist with an impressive ball into the box. He then got Diaz’s equalizing assist.
FW Cody Gakpo, 6 (Jota, 67″) — Gakpo couldn’t get the necessary power to his flick from Elliott’s cross minutes into the introduction.
DF Costas Simicus, 6 (for Gomez, 67″) — Went forward and looked to get a cross into the box but couldn’t make an impact.
FW Luis Diaz, N/R (for Gravenbirch, 83″) — Introduced for Gravenbirch in the 83rd minute and scored the equalizer in extra time.