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Liverpool beat Luton to move four points clear at the top

21 Feb 2024
Liverpool celebrate in front of the Kop

League leaders survive first-half scare to beat Hatters thanks to goals from Van Dijk, Gakpo, Diaz and Elliott

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Liverpool produced a superb second-half showing to come from behind and beat Luton Town 4-1 at Anfield to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Goals from Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz in a 15-minute period, along with a late strike from Harvey Elliott cancelled out Chiedozie Ogbene's first-half header as the Reds move four points clear of second-place Manchester City.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 32 +44 73
2 Arsenal ARS 32 +49 71
3 Liverpool LIV 32 +41 71
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How the match unfolded

Jurgen Klopp made five changes, with four of them due to injuries as Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones were replace by Ryan Gravenberch, Gakpo and Elliott while Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez came in for Ibrahima Konate and Andrew Robertson. Luton kept the same team from their defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

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Diaz had a good chance early on after he was picked out by Elliott, who became the fourth-youngest player to make 100 appearances for Liverpool, but the Colombian's curling effort went beyond the left post.

Despite a strong start from Liverpool, it was Luton who took the lead after 12 minutes as Ogbene headed in from close range after Tahith Chong's strike was parried by Caoimhin Kelleher and the rebound fell kindly to Ogbene.

Ogbene goal

Liverpool started the second half on the front foot with Diaz having two shots blocked. And the pressure eventually told as Van Dijk brought the hosts level with a header past Thomas Kaminski from Alexis Mac Allister's corner in the 56th minute.

Van Dijk goal

Mac Allister was the provider again when his cross was flicked in by Gakpo. There were just 125 seconds between the two Liverpool goals.

Van Dijk went close to scoring a second goal from another corner, but this time Kaminski was able to save his header.

Liverpool then gave themselves breathing space after Diaz showed great composure to dribble past Teden Mengi before firing past Kaminski. The goal meant Liverpool are the first team in Europe's top five leagues to have five players score 10 or more goals as Diaz joined Salah, Jota, Nunez and Gakpo in double digits.

Diaz goal

Klopp then handed late minutes to teenagers Jayden Danns and James McConnell.

And Elliott wrapped up the victory in the 90th minute as he smashed a loose ball inside the box into the top-left corner, leaving Kaminski no chance.

Liverpool have now recovered 22 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side, and their joint-most in a single campaign in the competition since 2008/09 as they secured a third-straight league win.

Luton missed the chance to move out of the relegation zone as they now remain in 18th on 20 points, behind Everton on goal difference.

The relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
14 Crystal Palace CRY 32 -17 33
15 Brentford BRE 33 -11 32
16 Everton EVE 32 -16 27
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 33 -16 26
18 Luton LUT 33 -24 25
19 Burnley BUR 33 -35 20
20 Sheffield Utd SHU 32 -54 16
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Club reports

Liverpool report | Luton report

Next five Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Since the start of 2018/19, Van Dijk has scored 18 Premier League goals, at least four more than any other defender. 12 of those have come at Anfield, now the most of any Liverpool defender at home in the competition, surpassing Sami Hyypia's 11.

Luton are one of two sides, along with Sheffield United, yet to keep a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League this season. The Hatters have shipped 29 goals in 12 away games in the division this season, the joint-most of any side on the road, along with AFC Bournemouth and Sheffield United.

With an average age of 25 years and 68 days, Liverpool named their youngest starting XI for a Premier League game since February 2018 against Southampton (24y 355d).

Only Arsenal (13) have scored more headed goals in the Premier League this season than Luton (12), with Ogbene the seventh different Hatters player to score a header in the league this term.

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