• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Rampant Liverpool thrash Luton to maintain Premier League top spot

Liverpool-Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool reignited their Premier League title chase following a convincing 4-1 victory over struggling Luton Town on Wednesday night at Anfield.

Chiedozie Ogbene had given the Hatters a shock first-half lead against a Liverpool side without Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota.

The Reds were rampant after the break and their pressure paid off when captain Virgil van Dijk showed desire and determination to get his side on level terms by powering home a header from a 56th-minute corner.

Just 125 seconds later Liverpool led as Cody Gakpo nodded in from close range as Alexis Mac Allister fired in a cross from the byeline.

Diaz, with his ninth shot of the game, finally got his reward for relentless work with the third goal in the 71st minute.

The Colombian forward danced his way into the box and coolly side-footed beyond Thomas Kaminski at the near post to give the hosts some breathing space on what had initially looked like a night when they could slip up in the title race.

Harvey Elliott, making his 100th appearance for the club, rounded off a fine second half when he pounced on a loose ball in the 90th minute to claim the fourth.

It made it three wins on the bounce for Liverpool after losing 3-1 at Arsenal last month and built further momentum as they gear up for Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men boast a four-point cushion over second-placed Manchester City, although they have played a game more than the defending champions, while Luton remain third from bottom.

Victory takes Klopp’s men four points clear of Manchester City and five ahead of third-placed Arsenal, but having played a game more than both their title rivals.

“How the stadium and team together changed that game is exceptional,” said Klopp.

“We just have to be calmer in the decisive moments. Once we became calmer there were fireworks. My word they were fantastic goals. It is a fantastic night.”

Captain Van Dijk led by example as he shrugged off his marker to power in Alexis Mac Allister’s corner.

“The reaction shown today was outstanding and something we need for the rest of the season,” said Van Dijk. “Today was a big one!”