Jürgen Klopp paid tribute to Luis Díaz’s strength of character as he awaits confirmation about the release of his kidnapped father after the Colombia forward’s injury-time equaliser saved Liverpool’s blushes against Luton.
A goal from the substitute Tahith Chong looked like giving Luton their first home Premier League win until Díaz headed home a cross from Harvey Elliott in the fifth minute of stoppage time. It was the culmination of a testing week for the 26-year-old with his father still not having been released by kidnappers from the National Liberation Army (ELN) and he unveiled a T-shirt with the message “Libertad Para Papa” (Freedom for Dad) when he scored.
Luis Díaz’s emotional late equaliser denies Luton victory against LiverpoolRead more
But while Klopp was delighted for his return to the Liverpool squad after he was left out of the win against Nottingham Forest last week, he insisted that they are still anxiously awaiting updates over Luis Manuel Díaz.
“It’s wonderful – there were no words necessary,” the Liverpool manager said. “The signs in Colombia are optimistic but the one thing we all want to hear hasn’t happened yet. We are just waiting for that moment.”
On Sunday night Díaz released a statement saying: “I ask ELN to release my father as soon as possible. I also ask the international associations to work on that in order to guarantee his freedom.
“Every second, every minute we’re more worried. We’ve no words to describe our family’s terrible feelings, and it will be the same as long as he’s not back at home.
“I beg you to release my father right now, respecting his integrity. I want to thank to all Colombians and also the international community for your support.”
Klopp, who said he did not hear a section of home fans apparently mocking the Hillsborough disaster, was disappointed his side failed to record a league victory here for a fifth successive match in a run that stretches back to 1987 but was complimentary about Luton’s battling display.
“It’s a strange feeling – we should have won but we could have lost,” he said. “Credit to Luton as they did really well but we were not calm enough when the big chances came. If we had taken one of our early chances then it could have been comfortable for us.”
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The draw means Luton move out of the relegation zone ahead of Bournemouth on goal difference after securing only their second point of the season here.
“My overriding feeling is pride and not disappointment,” the manager, Rob Edwards, said. “The players gave everything but Liverpool found a way to get a result in the end. We know we need to get more points but we are starting to compete against some of the best teams in the league. We believe in ourselves – the starting team today cost about £4m and to get a point against Liverpool is an amazing achievement.”