Diaz scores on Liverpool return as he awaits father's release


Klopp hails 'wonderful' and 'emotional' Diaz goal

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that Luis Diaz's goal in their 1-1 draw was "fantastic" amid his father's kidnap.

Liverpool's Colombian forward Luis Díaz came off the bench on Sunday to score an emotional late equaliser in a 1-1 Premier League draw at struggling Luton Town, dedicating the goal to his kidnapped father.

The 26-year-old dropped out of Liverpool's game last weekend after his parents were seized by armed men in Colombia, but he asked to be back in the squad and manager Juergen Klopp sent him on for the final minutes with the visitors a goal down.

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As Liverpool poured forward, Diaz leapt to meet a Harvey Elliott cross in the fifth minute of time added on, before revealing an undershirt that read "Freedom For Dad".

A Colombian guerrilla movement has said they will release his father, after earlier freeing his mother.

"A wonderful moment but it doesn't change the situation. Most important thing is that his father gets released," said Klopp. "It is wonderful he wanted to be here. For us a super important goal and for him very important and emotional, but that's it."

On the back foot for most of the game, promoted Luton had taken a shock lead when Ross Barkley drove forward in the 80th minute to release Issa Kaboré who passed for Tahith Chong to slide the ball past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.

That triggered delirium in the quaint and raucous Kenilworth Road stadium, whose capacity is just over 11,000, and had fans dreaming of a first league home win of the season and a first victory over the Reds since February 1991.

"When you score that late, you are already thinking of winning the game," said Chong. "But you know they have quality and will keep coming and unfortunately we conceded in the last minute. I am very proud of the team and proud to score."

Liverpool dominated possession and could have won had it not been for a string of missed chances by Darwin Núñez.

The Uruguayan saw a powerful shot strike the bar, had another sting the gloves of Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, and remarkably skied one close-range chance over - though an offside flag partially spared his blushes.

That left strike partner Diaz to grab emotional headlines with his last-ditch goal which appeared to go in off his shoulder.

"It says a lot about his character, about his inner strength," said team mate Alisson. "Not a lot of people can imagine what he is going through ... Football can bring joy in dark moments."

The result left Liverpool third on 24 points, three behind leaders Manchester City.

Luton inched out of the relegation area to go 17th on six points, two off the bottom. It was only their second point at home so far in the season.

"We pushed a top, top team all the way and we can take a lot of confidence from that," said Luton manager Rob Edwards, eager to prove the pundits wrong and earn a second year of Premier League football for his side after a fairy-tale rise.

"We are going up against giants but we are enjoying it and we want to compete as well."