Another game and another matchless performance from Luis Díaz. The Colombian’s world-class outings are becoming customary in the red jersey.
There may not have been a goal or an assist from Díaz on Saturday afternoon on the Wembley turf, but the Colombian did just about everything else in the game and he was not far off. score either, Edouard Mendy making an exceptional save. during the first half and Díaz hammering the woodwork in the second.
Over time, his mastery in front of goal will improve – his five goal contributions in his last five Premier League games would certainly suggest that. But for now, Liverpool will focus on the positives in what has been a scintillating performance.
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For over 90 minutes, Díaz hustled and caused many problems for Chelsea. He managed Chelsea right-back Reece James absolutely ruggedly giving him no respite and his breathless runs always provided Liverpool with the perfect outlet to get into dangerous territory.
At times, he also appeared on the right and down the middle showing off his fluid movement and once again demonstrating how well suited he was to this Liverpool attack. Liverpool’s front three worked seamlessly in the afternoon against a stubborn Chelsea defense and, as Jürgen Klopp alluded to in his post-match interview with ITV, “may have created more chances against Chelsea than ever”.
You could see the exhaustion on Díaz’s face and body language as he replaced Roberto Firmino in the first half of extra time. It was a rigorous and well done job which should now cement his place in the starting XI of the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Rome.
Over the past month, Díaz has been Klopp’s main asset. Liverpool look better when they are on the pitch, and their absence could be felt towards the end of the game, with the Reds creating fewer quality chances against a robust Chelsea side. Real Madrid will put up a similar hurdle, Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be just as difficult to break down and Liverpool will need Díaz’s running and unpredictability to create chances.
Klopp’s men will have to be more clinical with these chances – no one will want a third penalty shootout in a row, but the Liverpool boss will care in a fortnight. There were a lot of positives to take from the performance and the recipe could be improved in two weeks.
For now, Liverpool will be celebrating their double – a success made possible by the arrival of Díaz, who has already won two trophies in just four months at the club. But tomorrow the focus will be on the trophies that are still up for grabs after all, there may still be two more on the horizon.