Luton 1 – 1 Liverpool – The Postmortem
Below is the starting lineup and notable moments from the weekend game at Kenilworth Raid. It was a match up that should have seen Liverpool garner three points and move within one point of table topping Manchester City. Unfortunately for the traveling fanbase, that scenario was replaced by something that ended in an unlikely draw, which was rather fortunate in itself, at least for the red-men.
The Starting Eleven
Trent Alexander Arnold
Virgil van Dijk (c)
Alexis Mac Allister
Cody Gakpo – Diogo Jota (66 mins)
Harvey Elliott – Dominik Szoboszlai (66 mins)
Kostas Tsimikas – Joe Gomez (66 mins)
Luis Díaz – Ryan Gravenberch (83 mins)
Luton 1 – 0 Liverpool
Tahith Chong (Issa Kabore) 80 mins
Luton 1 – 1 Liverpool
Luis Díaz (Harvey Elliott) 90+5 mins
Important Match Stats
Luton 26% – Liverpool 74%
Luton 8 – Liverpool 24
Luton 11 – Liverpool 38
Luton 3 – Liverpool 5
Luton 4 – Liverpool 7
The First Half
The opening period of this game saw the expected situation unfold, where the possession heavy visitors invaded the Luton half in a continued attempt to break down a stubborn low block. With an often-confusing formation and a real lack of continuing width, Jürgen Klopp’s men quickly fell into a patient and lacklustre display where the belief was that time would surely enable that important away goal, one that did not materialise in the first 45 minutes. Despite enjoying a wonderful start to the season, Darwin Núñez once again reminded his adoring fans just how frustrating his final ball or shot can be. Two very decent strikes were either saved by the outstanding home keeper, Thomas Kaminski, or by the woodwork once more. The signs were bright and flashes of vibrancy had me calm, yet somehow, the half time break brought that 0-0 score line.
The Second Half
On resumption of the second half, I hoped that at least one change would have been made, given the ineptitude of the half which preceded. Alexis had been unproductive and at times set upon, which again pointed to the absolute need for a destroyer and ball winner in the middle of the park. Trent Alexander Arnold was the worst version of himself, which can too often resemble spoilt entitlement. Dominik and Mohamed looked like they had played in a pointless Europa League game in the week, whereas the hatters continued to turn the game into the melee that they were comfortable with. Not until the 66th minute’s substitutions did something change in our output, however, that was too fleeting and ended with Rob Edwards’ team taking a deserved 1-0 lead. The inability to score the opening goal meant Liverpool maintained an open and cavalier approach, which ultimately allowed a breakaway goal to create an astonishing altered score line. This moment prompted our German manager to call upon a man that is engulfed in family tragedy and God knows what else, in order to save the day Liverpool day. Luis Díaz must have welcomed the distraction that this beautiful game can offer, which allowed him to repay his manager with a wonderfully headed equaliser, after our common go to super sub, Harvey Elliott, had delivered a delightful cross to the back post. Our Columbian flyer delivered more in a hand full of minutes, that enabled a flood of blushes to be spared. The game ended with a very kick away team taking away a point that was not fought hard enough for.
What Are My Final Thoughts…?
I am trying to stay positive and see this moment as a wakeup call to certain tactical strategies, particular players, as well as transfer decisions that are needed for the winter window. This team is exciting and evolving, yet it lacks steel and defensive brilliance in the middle ground. I believe we would be top of the current Premier League table, if only an elite level ball winner and defensive shield had been attained in that summer of change. I hope the managerial ignorance of old does not re-emerge, which can enable any new or old (Jörg Schmadtke) Sporting Director to target and secure a holding asset that can provide so much of what this team lacks. With a faltering hybrid and a lack of urgency at times, this group would flourish with the addition of such a player, which is why I hope that the upcoming Alexis Mac Allister suspension (1 game ban for the visit of Brentford next Sunday), will result in a start and month long run in the Premier League for Wataru Endō. This change would enable our Argentina World Cup winner a move into his preferred position, upon his return.
A transitional stage within a regeneration will always bring days like this, however, it is still hard to take when the result could and should have been so much better.
More passion and aggression please Jürgen, as Liverpool 2.0 is lacking the best parts of Liverpool 1.0 right now.
Luton 1 – 4 Liverpool