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Anfield steps up & half-time changes? – Last word on Liverpool 4-1 Luton

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Liverpool took another three points in the title race as Luton were beaten 4-1 at Anfield, and there were plenty of points to discuss from the game.

At half time, the weather looked cloudy for the Reds who, suffering from injuries, were falling behind against a relegation-threatened team and facing a tough final vs. Chelsea just days later.

At full time, though, faith had been restored and there should be no excuse now for doubting Liverpool, whichever team Jurgen Klopp puts out.

Here, Sam Millne (@sam_millne) and Patrick Allen (@P_Allen21) discuss the change from first half to second, as well as the Anfield atmosphere at Liverpool’s 4-1 win against Luton.

 

Luton’s boss praised the atmosphere, what was it like from your seat?

PADDY: From my position in the lower Anfield Road End, first half it wasn’t great but second half, it was very, very good.

It was like we all flipped the switched after the non-handball decision, and it certainly helped with the two goals coming as fast as they did. Up there with the best of the season, no doubt.

SAM: All the ingredients were there for a great night and, as Paddy says, it only takes a moment to trigger something in the crowd.

Thankfully, Liverpool got the goals and Luton were unable to break out from their own box as ‘the Kop sucked the ball in’, according to opposition manager Rob Edwards.

We’ll have more of that from the start please, Reds!

 

At half time, did you see the turnaround coming?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

PADDY: Not really, no. It really did feel like ‘one of those days’ when nothing quite falls for you.

Luis Diaz had a couple of chances, Harvey Elliott the same, and we just sort of sleepwalked into half time without Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski really being troubled.

SAM: There were definitely signs but like Paddy, it felt like ‘one of those days.’

It is easy to forget, though, that said feeling hasn’t been unusual in the first half this season. Liverpool have won 22 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, maybe we should be slower to doubt them.

The first-half performance was actually not too bad if you ignore the front three’s lack of quality in front of goal.

As a team, we were still winning the ball back constantly and getting forward quickly. Virgil van Dijk‘s 56th-minute header meant the players relaxed and let their talent shine through.

 

What do you think changed at the break?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's Conor Bradley celebrates his side's second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

SAM: Well, Klopp said there was nothing tactical that changed, but I would definitely say the full-backs came into the game more.

Conor Bradley began to get involved further up the pitch and once again showed us the immense quality he possesses, setting up Cody Gakpo‘s goal and nearly scoring himself.

When he went off and Andy Robertson came on, the left-back did similar, providing more width and giving Luton‘s man-markers something else to think about outside the front three.

Ultimately, though, it was the all important lack of composure in front of goal that was rectified.

PADDY: I just think the manager gave them the proverbial rocket up their backsides because they really, really needed it.

You could tell straight from the off that the intensity had been taken up a notch and the movement in between the lines was much, much better.

 

Optimistic for the League Cup final?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

PADDY: Yes, but only to a certain degree.

Obviously we just battered Chelsea not too long ago but I, like I imagine the manager will be, am sweating on Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez.

Their absence, coupled with a replication of the first-half performance vs. Luton, could spell trouble against a Chelsea team who have just hit a bit of form with players that can certainly cause problems.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

SAM: I think having having Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate fit ultimately gives us much more chance than without.

Even if the forward line are struggling, if we can stay in the game, there will always be an opportunity near the end.

On a big pitch at Wembley, I would have felt much more comfortable had Dominik Szoboszlai been playing, but this is a chance for Ryan Gravenberch to really stand up.

I think Gravenberch will start in midfield over Elliott, and at least one of Salah or Nunez are likely to play, as it stands.

No silly errors and, with a bit of luck, we should win!