Luton Town 1-1 Liverpool: Emotional Luis Díaz strikes late to salvage a point as search for kidnapped father continues

Victorious in only a solitary match across their maiden venture on Premier League shores, losing seven of their opening 10 games, Luton Town manager Rob Edwards made just one alteration to the side that were defeated 3-1 by Aston Villa, as Andros Townsend made his first start for the club since joining on a free transfer last month.

Meanwhile, Edwards’ managerial counterpart, Jürgen Klopp, also made only the sole change to Liverpool’s previous starting Premier League eleven, as Joe Gomez replaced Konstantinos Tsimikas at left-back.

LUT: Kaminski; Mengi, Lockyer, Osho; Kaboré; Nakamba, Barkley, Townsend, Doughty; Ogbene, Morris

LIV: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, van Dijk, Gomez; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Gravenberch; Salah, Núñez, Jota

On the losing side in their last two away Premier League encounters against newly-promoted clubs, Liverpool started assertively in pursuit of ending their unwanted sequence of results as Darwin Núñez fired Trent Alexander-Arnold’s exquisite defence-splitting pass beyond Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, but not past the frame of the reverberating woodwork.

Seeking to exploit that record further, Luton began to look dangerous on the break, however they were left indebted to Kaminski shortly after the 30th-minute mark as the Hatters’ number one brilliantly got down low to deny Diogo Jota the game’s opening goal with a sublime one-handed save at his near post.

Still goalless at the commencement of the restart against the backdrop of an abundance of fireworks going off in and around the local residencies of Kenilworth Road, Luton continued to look threatening on the counter-attack as new boy Andros Townsend and on-loan Manchester City wing-back Issa Kaboré again combined well down the right-hand flank of the pitch.

Embed from Getty Images

That pressure almost came to fruition in the 64th minute as only an instinctive save from Alisson Becker denied Luton’s leading Premier League goalscorer this season, Carlton Morris, his fourth of the campaign.

It was down the other end of the field where Liverpool should have broken the deadlock, but to the amazement of around the 1,200 away supporters, Núñez somehow slotted Mohamed Salah’s header back across the danger area wide of the mark.

The Uruguayan international’s miss came back to haunt Liverpool only days after Halloween, as in the 80th-minute substitute Tahith Chong culminated a clinical counter-attacking move by firing Kaboré’s dangerous delivery in the box past Alisson to secure what seemed like a precious three points for Luton.

However, Rob Edwards’ side would be left heartbroken deep into stoppage time at the end of the second half, as two substitutes from the opposing dugout, Harvey Elliot and Luis Díaz mercilessly combined, allowing the latter to authoritatively head home his first Premier League goal in eight games – before wheeling away in celebration to reveal an undershirt emblazoned with ‘libertad para papa’ – or ‘freedom for Dad’.

Embed from Getty Images

Late drama at Kenilworth Road leaves Luton only above the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of their trip to Old Trafford – where they will face Manchester United on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, a last-gasp share of the spoils for Liverpool lifts Jürgen Klopp’s men into third position in the Premier League table at the expense of Arsenal.