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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Liverpool 4-1 Luton: Klopp says he used Champions League epic against Barcelona as inspiration for Premier League comeback win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his squad’s 4-1 comeback win against Luton Town in the Premier League is “their Barcelona” – a reference to the Reds’ epic Uefa Champions League victory when they overturned a 3-0 deficit by winning the second leg 4-0 against Barcelona in 2019.

The relegation-threatened Hatters led until the 56th minute at Anfield on Tuesday through Chiedozie Ogbene’s early opener, but Liverpool then scored four times to avoid an upset and move four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.

Against a Barca side spearheaded by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Liverpool had been thought to have had little chance of recovering in their famous semi-final home leg, scoring twice but remaining behind on aggregate until Georginio Wijnaldum netted for a second time in three minutes to bring them level in the same minute as Virgil van Dijk equalised against Town.

Divock Origi’s goal sealed a sensational victory with 11 minutes remaining for a side depleted by injuries who went on to lift the trophy under Klopp.

Check out our other Liverpool news stories here:
Klopp issues injury update with bad news on Jota
Klopp ‘shocked’ by Hodgson illness
Edwards bullish ahead of Anfield clash

“This team that time ignored the fact of who was missing and I want us to ignore the fact of who is missing,” said Klopp, who had goalkeeper Alisson and top scorer Mohamed Salah among nine injured players against Luton.

“That’s difficult because the public had the knowledge of the number of players missing only tonight.”

Liverpool injury update: Klopp ‘doesn’t know’

“I needed a few minutes to process it when I got all the news but from the moment when you know how you can deal with it, how you can sort it for this game now, it feels really good,” said Klopp.

“That’s what I wanted the boys to show and this is an example, this is now their Barcelona, against Luton – a difficult situation, plenty of reasons to give up in moments and say ‘Yeah, not tonight.’

“And I saw only a super group fighting. If you don’t limit yourself with bad thoughts, you can fly. And that’s what the boys did.”

Cody Gakpo’s goal to put Liverpool ahead for the first time came in the same 56th minute as Wijnaldum’s leveller arrived against Barca.

Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott – making his 100th Liverpool appearance – made the scoreline look more comfortable than it had been against opponents level on points with fourth-bottom Everton.

“There are now a lot of super-important games coming up and we don’t know,” Klopp said of his injured players.

“We go day by day. I cannot say anything about it and I don’t know. There’s one phrase that stands: as long as we have 11, we will go for it. That’s all I can promise.”

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