Liverpool snatched a point late on against Luton Town.
Liverpool were moments away from sinking to an embarrassing defeat against Luton Town until Luis Diaz rose highest to head home and snatch a point in the 95th minute.
Given what he has been through, it was a miracle that he was even on the pitch with the kidnapping of his parents back in his homeland, but the Colombian came off the bench to save his side’s blushes and then honoured them in celebration by revealing a t-shirt which had “Libertad Para Papa” – freedom for father – written on it.
Whilst the fleet-footed winger produced a truly special moment, it was ultimately a performance to forget for Liverpool, especially in the attacking third.
The Reds hit 12 of their 24 shots off target, as per Sofascore, with Darwin Nunez encapsulating their wastefulness at Kenilworth Road.
Darwin Nunez statistics vs Luton
Liverpool were left frustrated by how effectively Luton nullified threat threats out wide, although the Reds didn’t help themselves by playing two inverted full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, who made it easy for the Hatters to defend in central areas.
When the chances did fall to their forward line – particularly for Nunez – the Uruguayan was incredibly wasteful in front of goal.
"Goodness, gracious, me… that was a MISS"
Flag goes up anyway but HOW has Darwin Núñez not put this in the back of the net?! pic.twitter.com/KLusRRd3Rt
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 5, 2023
He missed three big chances, including a terrible open goal sitter, and added to his blushes by failing to score from his nine shots, the joint-most attempted in a Premier League game this season – Haaland vs West Ham and Rashford vs Brighton—as per Opta Analyst.
The whole complexion of the match could have been a whole lot different if he hadn’t missed that sitter, though the hosts gained encouragement from Liverpool’s frustrations by ruthlessly carving through Klopp’s men on the counter as Tahith Chong gave them an 80th-minute lead.
While positives can be drawn for how constantly dangerous Nunez is in the final third, wreaking havoc in attack with his searing pace and movement in behind, demonstrated by accumulating 0.90 of Liverpool’s 3.04 xG, it’s the 24-year-old’s finishing that has so often prevented him from reaching his world-class ceiling.
Klopp’s biggest enigma wasn’t the only one to cost his side against Luton as Alexander-Arnold had an afternoon to forget from a defensive point of view.
Alexander-Arnold’s statistics against Luton Town
Going forward, Alexander-Arnold consistently shows why he’s regarded as one of the best-attacking full-backs on the planet, however, his performance against the Hatters provided further evidence of his defensive deficiencies.
In the attacking third he was near faultless as he utilised his right foot as a weapon of mass destruction, carving a dagger through the hosts’ back line having registered six key passes, nine crosses and completed a sensational 11 of his 16 attempted long balls, as per Sofascore.
|Trent’s game in numbers v Luton
|Long Ball Success
|Stats via Sofascore.
On the flip side, he was dispossessed a whopping 28 times as Luton devised a plan to shut down his supply line by applying pressure onto him, with that sloppiness in possession translating across to his defensive work.
Rob Edwards earmarked him as Liverpool’s weak point defensively and tasked Chiedozie Ogbene with the responsibility of exposing his frailties on the counter-attack.
The Irishman took advantage of Alexander-Arnold’s inability to defend, terrorising him with his pace and power as the 24-year-old endured a tough afternoon defensively, winning none of his eight ground duels, making zero tackles and was dribbled past a staggering five times.
Ogbene was largely the culprit of that damage and the Englishman will go to bed this evening having nightmares of the horror show that unfolded at Kenilworth Road.
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