Liverpool lost momentum in the Premier League title chase on Sunday as they drew 1-1 with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road. Diogo Jota and Darwin Núñez had notable chances for the visitors in the first half, with Jota‘s one the best of the two, and he should have done better with after trying to catch the goalkeeper out at the near post.
The Hatters provided a consistent threat on the counter-attack throughout the match, with Chiedozie Ogbene the standout for the home side, and he almost punished Liverpool after getting past Ibrahima Konaté and Trent Alexander-Arnold before drawing an important intervention from Alisson. Jurgen Klopp’s side then squandered their best chance of the second half when Mohamed Salah‘s effort — which might have been a pass — found Nunez from close range, only for the Uruguay international to blaze his effort over the bar.
Minutes later, Liverpool were punished as they conceded a dangerous counter-attack amid appeals for a handball from Virgil van Dijk‘s header from a corner, and it was Tahith Chong who finished to put Luton one goal ahead. The home side couldn’t hold on, though, as the Reds managed to rescue a late point when Harvey Elliott found another one of the second half substitutes in Luis Díaz, who equalised with a well-placed header.
Despite not getting the three points, Liverpool created more than enough chances to win the game, while Ryan Gravenberch also produced one of his best performances since joining the club in the summer.
Liverpool’s finishing was wasteful overall in a match, which ultimately allowed Luton to take something from the game. All in all, these are games where the Reds shouldn’t be dropping points if they’re looking to compete with Manchester City in the title race.
Jurgen Klopp, 7 — The Liverpool manager’s system looked enough to create the chances required to win the game, but his side wasted their best opportunities. The Reds also looked better after the triple substitution, with Luis Diaz, another late replacement, scoring the equaliser.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 6 — Alisson didn’t have much to do in the first half, making a straightforward save from a shot that came from distance before Ross Barkley‘s effort was skied over the bar. Yet he was crucial in the second half after Chiedozie Ogbene cruised past Alexander-Arnold and Konate and had just the goalkeeper to beat. There was little he could do about the opener after the hosts’ impressive counter-attack.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — Two dangerous balls early-on saw the England international come close to finding Jota before a late intervention, and the Liverpool vice-captain was involved again shortly after with a pass for Nunez, who clipped his effort onto the bar. He was forced to work hard in defensive phases, with Luton focusing the majority of their attacks down his side.
DF Ibrahima Konate, 5 — One of his best moments in the first half saw him burst out of defence on the ball and carry it into Luton territory, though he conceded a couple of fouls where he could have been cleaner with his tackling.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 — Another promising display in which he was faultless in his duels, leading with his composure and confidence when required to deal with defensive situations.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 — An assured outing from a player making his first start at left-back since 2015. He transitioned the ball well using both feet, and didn’t allow anything of any danger down his flank.
MF Alexis Mac Allister, 6 — The Argentina star helped Liverpool set the tone when it came to maintaining their dominance in possession, and he often made the right decision with his passing to help progress the ball into more positive areas.
MF Ryan Gravenberch, 7 — The 21-year-old was a regular contributor to some of Liverpool’s best attacking play, and he was unlucky not to get an assist when he set up his side’s best chance of the first half with an intelligent run and well-timed pass to Diogo Jota. Gravenberch’s performance at Kenilworth Road deserved more than a draw.
FW Mohamed Salah, 5 — Liverpool’s star winger wasn’t as involved as much as he would have liked in the first half, with his only meaningful chance skied over the bar. An unusually quiet day overall: he looked better after Elliott’s introduction, but was left frustrated overall.
FW Darwin Nunez, 5 — Had six of Liverpool’s 11 shots taken in the first half, and came closest with his effort that was clipped off the bar from Alexander-Arnold’s pass. The Liverpool forward then missed a huge chance in the second half from close-range — a moment that would have been the turning point with a more composed finish.
FW Diogo Jota, 6 — The Portugal international was bright in the attack for Liverpool and tried to catch the goalkeeper out with a snapshot towards the near post from the best chance of the first half, but it looked as though an effort in the opposite direction would have been unstoppable.
MF Harvey Elliott, 7 (on for Szoboszlai, 67″) — Elliott added energy to Liverpool’s side and almost picked up an assist immediately with an impressive ball into the box. He then got the assist for Diaz’s equaliser.
FW Cody Gakpo, 6 (on for Jota, 67″) — Gakpo couldn’t get the required power on his flick from Elliott’s cross within minutes of being introduced.
DF Kostas Tsimikas, 6 (on for Gomez, 67″) — Got forward and looked to get crosses into the box but couldn’t make an impact.
FW Luis Diaz, N/R (on for Gravenberch, 83″) — Introduced for Gravenberch in the 83rd minute and scored the equaliser in added time.