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Football News: Liverpool v Luton Town - A Quick Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Luton Town - A Quick Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Luton Town


In some respects that game lived up to the classic 'game of two halves' saying. The first half saw Liverpool create plenty of opportunities but just unable to convert them. The team were by far the better team overall, but the finishing was woeful. Added to that, the crowd were just not at it either and were a bit quiet, even though the team was providing intensity and some really good play, right up until the shot at the end of it. The second half felt different. The team came out and you could feel the determination to turn it around and get the three points. Along with that, the crowd seemed to be ready to help out (and not need Klopp to call for more from them as he did towards the end of the first half) and you could feel the atmosphere building along with the pressure on Luton. Eventually it all got too much for a Luton team who gave their all but were simply outclassed.

What was most pleasing from a Liverpool perspective is the way that everyone was in it together, a team from top to bottom, with John Achteberg setting an example by being the one to step in to talk to the officials when there was an issue, taking the yellow card so that Klopp would not get a touchline ban. The fans played their part too, building the atmosphere up like a pressure cooker at the start of the second half when the team needed their backing, letting them know they were with them. At this point of the season, especially with the number of injuries Liverpool have, it is not really about the performance, just the result, but that was also an excellent performance to go with it.


Luton gave everything, but they were just not good enough. They are highly reliant on the goalscorer Ogbene's pace, but his lack of end product is an issue for them and they lack quality throughout the team. That was their biggest issue, the lack of quality, they constantly tried to play out from the back but gave the ball away repeatedly as the press overwhelmed them. What I did see from them is enough heart, desire and willingness to give them a chance of staying up despite the lack of quality in the team. I do though wonder why all the fuss surrounding Barkley, who is an extremely average player and offers little bar poor decisions on the ball most of the time. Talk of him returning to the England squad must be a joke as he is nowhere near that level.


Quick notes on the players:


Kelleher - he had a mixed game, should have done better on their goal and his kicking was a bit erratic, sometimes good, sometimes just giving it away. He did come and deal with some setpieces well.

Bradley - another excellent game for the youngster, who was once again one of the better players on the pitch. I think it is telling he was taken off early to keep him fresh for the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

Quansah - had a good game, defended really well, though he was not put under huge pressure. Strode out of defence a couple of times very well.

van Dijk - was much more aggressive and attacked the ball well from the start. A real captain's performance, driving the team on and then popping up with the equaliser.

Gomez - again he has played really well, both on the left and then when switched over to the right after Bradley was taken off. He was up against their only real threat and he kept him mostly quiet.

Endo - another good performance from Japan's captain who seems to relish a physical battle like the one Luton tried to turn the game into. He also played some very good forward passes, showing himself to be more than just there to break up the play.

Gravenberch - it seems like the Dutchman has figured out what is needed to make it in the English game and has added the mixing elements - workrate and physicality. His pace and skill was never in doubt, but now it is also added to by being a useful help off the ball. Early in the first half his pressing was enough to force Luton into giving away a corner, though he did show signs of frustration later in the half as chance after chance went begging. He was a bit less prominent in the second half.

Mac Allister - had an excellent game and got assists on the first two goals. Him and Endo alternate as the deepest lying midfielder, or sometimes both will hold deep, and they are working together well. It has really freed up Mac Allister to play his game.

Diaz - had a good game, causing no end of problems but was let down repeatedly by his finishing until he finally got one right. That also provided a great moment seeing his dad celebrate.

Gakpo - another who had a good game showing good pace and strength and got the goal his performance deserved. He is looking back to being the player who impressed so much in the second half of last season.

Elliott - worked hard, but in the first half his decision making and passing was off, as well as joining in the general malaise with regard to weak shooting. In the second half he stepped up, his driving runs made a huge difference to the game and helped put real pressure on Luton's backline. Good finish for his goal as well.

Robertson - brought on in place of Bradley in the 67th minute. Drive forward well and won the ball back for Diaz's goal as well.

Clark - came on to replace Gravenberch in the 77th minute. Struggled to really make an impression in the game, but tried hard.

McConnell - replaced Mac Allister in the 88th minute. Never really had time to affect the game as the game was in the bag by that point.

Danns - made his debut coming on to take Diaz's place in the 88th minute. So close to marking that debut with a goal and did show some nice touches.

Written by Tris Burke February 23 2024 02:21:12


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