'There were fireworks': Klopp lauds Liverpool's stunning win over Luton

Reds, who were missing a number of players, came from behind to register 4-1 win and extend lead at top of the table

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Jurgen Klopp credited his players for overcoming serious challenges as an injury-plagued Liverpool came from a goal down to beat Luton 4-1 and open up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday.

Liverpool were missing Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota among others and fell behind when Chiedozie Ogbene gave the Hatters a shock first-half lead.

However, Dutch international duo Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo turned the game on its head within a span of two minutes before the hour mark. Then, Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott secured a statement win.

Victory took Klopp's team four points clear of Manchester City and five ahead of third-placed Arsenal.

"How the stadium and team together changed that game is exceptional," Klopp said after the win.

"We just have to be calmer in the decisive moments. Once we became calmer there were fireworks. My word they were fantastic goals. It is a fantastic night."

"We are a resilient team and we want to fight for one another. It's a hectic season," Elliott told Sky Sports. "For the lads that are injured we wish them well and we want to come back quickly."

The hosts had 29 shots, 13 of them on target, and a Liverpool goal felt inevitable as Luton keeper Thomas Kaminski made a string of saves from shots by Conor Bradley, Gakpo and Van Dijk within a few minutes before Van Dijk finally connected.

"The final bit wasn't really there in the first half," Elliott said. "But football is a game of two halves and in the second half we showed it. We had to be a lot better than we were in the first half."

Liverpool have been hit by recent injuries - terrible timing with the League Cup final against Chelsea looming on Sunday and amid a tight title race. Klopp said Salah, who just returned from a hamstring injury, was not fit to play on Wednesday while Nunez, Jota and Jones were all sidelined with injuries they picked up last weekend against Brentford.

The leaders were already missing goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominik Szoboszlai and Thiago Alcantara.

"What this place, together with a bunch of fantastic footballers, is able to create is so special, oh my god," Klopp said. "The second half we were undeniable, hey?"

"I needed a few minutes to process it when I got all the (injury) news," he added. "But from the moment on, when you know how you can deal with it, how we can solve it for this game now, it feels really good. And that's what I wanted the boys to show."

"I'm so happy with the performance," Klopp said. "I'm so happy, for so many things we saw tonight, before the game nobody knew how the boys will take on this challenge and because it is a challenge."

Klopp also praised Luton, who were promoted this season and are 18th in the table.

"I said before the game, I said after the game, the job Rob (Edwards, Luton's manager) is doing is absolutely outstanding."

Updated: February 22, 2024, 4:27 AM