Neil Atkinson’s post-match review for The Anfield Wrap after Luton Town 1 Liverpool 1 in the 2023-2024 Premier League season…
Something about Liverpool people is not giving up. Something about Liverpool people is hoping against hope. Something about Liverpool people is being thousands and thousands of miles away from a lost Dad and wanting him to be free. Luis Diaz scores and sends his message tonight from Luton. Don’t give up.
It is a dreadful game for us but the whole enterprise is almost worth it for that moment when a son is able to send a message to a father and shows such incredible spirit.
Because there is no way to cut it that this isn’t 2 points dropped. We get a moment, a sweet moment, an important moment, but never the moment.
All Liverpool need to do is find the opener. Any opener means that the game is theirs. The scoreboard is theirs. But it never comes. It feels on the cards but the sharpness is lacking.
But the turning point moment is the Nuñez miss. Nuñez misses other chances but only one is a miss of epic proportion. Only one kills Liverpool’s optimism. It felt like minus one, not just a miss. It was the ultimate it won’t be our day.
And yet, we’d have lost this last season. We’d have conceded first-half in the first five games of this even. Luton are well organised and have a threat. I liked their play far more than their chants but this is Britain in 2023. Dreadfulness on the one hand and soundness on the other.
For much of the game you want to weep with frustration. Luton may well yet still get relegated which makes this all the more wildly infuriating. This is concrete-punching annoyance. Every journalist’s ideal story that makes us scream with irritation. The camera pans to the Luton Chairman as if to say, there you are, cynics, there is nothing wrong with the English football pyramid after all. Honestly, you scream. This is all just so deeply frustrating.
Liverpool must send the ball across the face of goal about twenty times in this match. Mo Salah gets himself down the wing but can find no magic in front of the goal. Jota and Gakpo have few good attempts but in reality Luton are playing out of their skins and Liverpool can’t twist them out of shape.
The goal is infuriating. Why on earth are our slowest players the deepest? Why is everyone engaged with a speculative handball when the building is on fire?
There is a sharpness missing all game, one which should be there. Liverpool can force the issue but are never crisp. I wonder what the manager thinks of the wind and rain of Bournemouth now for his side.
It could have been worse. It could have been a defeat. It could have not had the moment for a beloved Liverpudlian to send a message to his Colombian home.
But it could have been better. And it is hard to reflect right now that had Darwin Nuñez scored this and Ryan Gravenberch scored at Brighton then Liverpool would right now be top of the pops regardless of what happened at Tottenham.
Last year we gave up too easily. This year we won’t give up at all. That’s the beginning of everything good.
But still, two dropped. And two dropped hurts.
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— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) November 5, 2023