Liverpool 4-1 Luton Town: Player ratings as Reds overcome early Hatters scare

  • Liverpool came from behind to thump Luton on Wednesday night
  • Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz & Harvey Elliott on the scoresheet
  • Reds extended their lead at the top of the table

Liverpool produced an emphatic turnaround at Anfield
Liverpool produced an emphatic turnaround at Anfield / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Liverpool starred in the second half on Wednesday night as they came from behind to beat Luton Town 4-1 in the Premier League.

A weakened Reds were given an early scare when Chiedozie Ogbene headed the visitors into a shock lead, but four unanswered goals after the restart from Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott meant Jurgen Klopp's side were able to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Luton, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone despite their spirited showing at Anfield.

How the game unfolded

There were several notable absences from the Liverpool squad ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final, with Jurgen Klopp opting to leave out Mohamed Salah alongside the injured Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, and Darwin Nunez. The visitors, meanwhile, were again without top scorer Elijah Adebayo.

Luton were forced to deal with an early Liverpool flurry as Diaz spurned a couple of good chances, and it was obvious from the outset that Rob Edwards' side weren't going to die wondering at Anfield.

Their approach without possession was bold as they went men-to-man across the park, and the Hatters certainly weren't afraid to build up through the thirds as a means of exploiting the Reds' aggressive defensive line. Luton's courage was rewarded early through Ogbene's opener at the back post, although they saw little of Liverpool's goal thereafter in the opening period.

Liverpool had issues playing through Luton's press but were able to create multiple openings from high turnovers. However, a lack of killer instinct in transition meant they went into the break a goal behind.

The Anfield faithful may have been angsty as the two sides returned for the start of the second half, but they needn't have worried. Liverpool took it up a notch after the break, suffocating the visitors and overturning their deficit in the blink of an eye. Van Dijk headed home the equaliser before Gakpo converted Alexis Mac Allister's volleyed cross.

Luton's bravery then finally cost them soon after as Liverpool finally punished the Hatters in transition through Diaz, who handed the hosts a 3-1 lead midway through the second half. The visitors huffed and puffed until the game's conclusion, enjoying their only bright period since the opening exchanges, but they couldn't find a way back into the game as Elliott added some late gloss.

Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)

Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo celebrates his go-ahead goal / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

GK: Caoimhín Kelleher - 7/10 - After his early concession, Kelleher was authoritative when he needed to be and his distribution was rather impressive.

RB: Conor Bradley - 7/10 - Initially quiet but burst into life after the restart. So dynamic and was crafty around the Luton box.

CB: Jarell Quansah - 7/10 - Chong's positioning caused him a few early problems, but Quansah was otherwise impressive. Drove out of defence imperiously on a couple of occasions.

CB: Virgil van Dijk - 8/10 - Van Dijk took matters into his own hands after a frustrating first half by emphatically heading home Liverpool's equaliser.

LB: Joe Gomez - 5/10 - Got his usual ambitious effort in after cutting in off the right flank. Did not enjoy Ogbene's pace.

CM: Wataru Endo - 6/10 - Had a few issues in the face of Luton's press, but did offer a source of guile in possession. Not hugely influential.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister - 8/10 - Operated deeper alongside Endo and didn't have it all his own way in the opening period against Luton's man-oriented press. Started to take control of proceedings after the restart, recording two assists.

CM: Ryan Gravenberch - 6/10 - A slippery operator who twisted and turned beyond challenges throughout without adding the decisive pass in the final third.

RW: Harvey Elliott - 7/10 - Seemingly always involved, but Elliott couldn't piece it together in the final third until the very end.

ST: Cody Gakpo - 7/10 - Used as a decoy at times so Diaz could exploit the space in behind Luton's defence. Missed a couple of good chances, but his go-ahead finish was smart.

LW: Luis Diaz - 7/10 - A couple of missed early chances set the tone for what was an incredibly wasteful evening before he EVENTUALLY got on the scoresheet. Couldn't fault his endeavour, and he took his goal very well.


SUB: Andy Robertson (67' for Bradley) - 6/10

SUB: Bobby Clark (78' for Gravenberch) - 6/10

SUB: James McConnell (88' for Mac Allister) - N/A

SUB: Jayden Danns (88' for Diaz) - N/A

Subs not used: Adrian (GK), Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Kaide Gordon, Trey Nyoni

Manager: Jurgen Klopp - 7/10 - Rallied the crowd and deserves credit for Liverpool's second half upsurge given their key absences.

Luton Town player ratings (3-4-3)

Chiedozie Ogbene
Luton celebrate their early opener / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

GK: Thomas Kaminski - 7/10 - Liverpool's errant finishing meant he wasn't tested until the second half. Despite his concessions, Kaminski made a string an impressive second-half saves.

CB: Teden Mengi - 7/10 - Produced a couple of standout defensive moments to deny Diaz, but his efforts were in vain.

CB: Gabriel Osho - 6/10 - Had a couple of issues tracking Gakpo's movement, and he did surrender space behind him when he tracked the Dutchman into a deeper position.

CB: Amari'i Bell - 7/10 - Troubled by Diaz early on, but defended Luton's box mightily well in the first period before the visitors were blown away in the second period.

RWB: Chiedozie Ogbene - 7/10 - A key outlet for the Hatters, Ogbene added plenty of thrust down the right flank after handing his side the lead.

CM: Albert Sambi Lokonga - 7/10 - Caught out once or twice in the first half, but was a net positive with and without the ball. A silky customer, and Luton missed him in the second period.

CM: Ross Barkley - 6/10 - We've seen Barkley take control of matches against the Premier League's best this season, but this wasn't one of those occasions. The midfielder had a couple of bright moments in possession.

LWB: Alfie Doughty - 6/10 - Courageous in the build-up and was an early threat in the final third. However, was forced to defend for much of the game before his injury-enforced exit.

RF: Carlton Morris- 5/10 - Really didn't offer the visitors much other than some hustle and bustle without the ball.

ST: Cauley Woodrow - 6/10 - Excellent hold-up and link play in the build-up to Ogbene's opener, but was barely involved thereafter.

LF: Tahith Chong - 6/10 - Bright in the opening exchanges and was instrumental in the opener. Faded before he was withdrawn.


SUB: Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu (46' for Lokonga) - 5/10

SUB: Andros Townsend (58' for Woodrow) - 5/10

SUB: Jordan Clark (63' for Chong) - 5/10

SUB: Issa Kabore (74' for Doughty) - 5/10

Subs not used: Tim Krul (GK), Dan Potts, Luke Barry, Reece Burke, Zack Nelson

Manager: Rob Edwards - 6/10 - Luton's approach was so brave, and it directly resulted in an early lead. However, the visitors were also caught out time and time again, with Edwards refusing to deviate. This defeat can't be pinned on him, however.

Player of the match: Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool)