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Klopp compares ‘thunderstorm’ Luton win to 2019 Barcelona comeback

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s second-half performance in Wednesday’s win over Luton was like a “thunderstorm” – and will replace 2019’s famous comeback against Barcelona as his source of inspiration for team talks.

Trailing to Chiedozie Ogbene’s 12th-minute header, Klopp’s side were a different prospect after the break with Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott bringing up 100 goals for the season.

While it by no means matched the magnitude of their Champions League semi-final comeback after losing the first leg 3-0 to Barcelona, it was significant in the title race as they stretched their lead over Man City to four points, having played a game more.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Liverpool and Luton

Liverpool’s full injury list

  • Mo Salah – hamstring
  • Darwin Nunez – muscle
  • Diogo Jota – knee
  • Curtis Jones – ankle
  • Joel Matip – knee
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold – knee
  • Dominik Szoboszlai – thigh
  • Thiago – thigh
  • Alisson – hamstring
  • Stefan Bajcetic – unknown
  • Ben Doak – knee

“Tonight is one of those nights where it is difficult to stop talking. I am so happy,” said Klopp, who was without 11 first-team players including forwards Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez who remain doubtful for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, live on Sky Sports.

“We had to ignore the fact we were 1-0 down and use the things that are good and improve the counter-press. The second half was a thunderstorm. Wow.

“I will mention this game from now quite a few times. I promised my team a few months ago that I would never mention or use the Barcelona game as an example and I used it again today so I broke my promise.

“Just because before the game, it was kind of similar. Many players missing, stuff like this. The team that time ignored the fact who is missing and I want us to ignore the fact who is missing.

“That is difficult because the public got the whole knowledge of who is missing only tonight. It’s like… I needed a few minutes to process it when I got all the news.

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Ben Ransom and Juliette Ferrington discuss the importance of Liverpool’s victory over Luton in the title race, despite having major injuries

“But from that moment on, when you know how you can deal with it and sort it for this game, it feels really good. That is what I wanted the boys to show.

“This is an example tonight. This is their Barcelona, now against Luton. A difficult situation, plenty of reasons to give up in moments: 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.”

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Luton boss Rob Edwards admits his side played into Liverpool’s hands

Luton head coach Rob Edwards, whose side were impressive in the first half, admitted scoring so early just made their task harder.

“We just made them angry,” he said. “Overall it was a really good first half. Second half I thought we saw Anfield, saw Liverpool, saw their full-throttle football. Their counter-pressing football was amazing.

“In the end, it was a great learning curve for us to see what the best looks like. I know they had some players missing, but their second-half performance was like the best out there.

“I thought we were very, very good. They were better.”

Liverpool’s win in stats

  • Liverpool have 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 (also 22 in 2008-09).
  • 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).
  • 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 Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
  • There were just 125 seconds between Virgil van Dijk’s equaliser and Cody Gakpo putting Liverpool 2-1 ahead against Luton.

What’s next?

Sunday 25th February 2:20pm Kick off 3:00pm

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Liverpool take on Chelsea on the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm), while Luton host Man City in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday February 27 (kick-off 8pm).

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