Luis Diaz has been a revelation since signing for Liverpool from Porto for an initial £37.5million in January – and his brilliant form continued in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday. We’ve rounded up nine stats (and a couple of quotes) to show just how good he was.
Diaz signed for Liverpool while on international duty with Colombia in late January and flew into Merseyside days later to link up with manager Jurgen Klopp and his team.
While some players take a while to settle in a new country, Diaz has taken to life in the English top flight like a duck to water.
He seems tailor-made for the left forward position in Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation – and it is a credit to Liverpool’s recruitment that they have found a player so well suited to the role.
Prior to the Brighton fixture, Diaz had only scored once in nine games, but that tally did not speak to the impact he has had. Despite not banging in the goals, the 25-year-old has impressed with his pace, directness, work rate and incredible technical ability.
And on Saturday at the AMEX Stadium, that good form continued, with Diaz getting on the scoresheet for the second time in his Liverpool career as the Reds beat Brighton 2-0.
Diaz opened the scoring with just under 20 minutes gone, latching onto a brilliant Joel Matip through-ball and heading it around the advancing Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
Diaz was then wiped out by Sanchez’s wild, high leg – but Sanchez was controversially not sent off, even after a VAR review.
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) March 12, 2022
Still, Diaz got up, dusted himself off and played a role in Liverpool’s second, carrying the ball into the box before Naby Keita’s shot hit Yves Bissouma’s arm, causing Mike Dean to give a penalty.
Mo Salah, as cool as ever, stepped up to slot the kick away.
But the day belonged to Diaz and there was copious praise for him from all corners after the game.
On the BBC’s final score programme, Dion Dublin was asked whether he remembered a player who had moved to a Premier League club mid-season and settled as quickly as Diaz has. “Eric Cantona,” Dublin replied.
It’s a compliment that might not please Liverpool fans, but it’s a massive compliment nonetheless.
Jurgen Klopp was equally enthused. “He scored a brilliant goal, obviously,” the German coach told the BBC, “great vision and a brave one.”
Here, we’ve rounded up nine stats that show just how big an impact Diaz had on Saturday. Stats are taken from Squawka and SofaScore.
– Diaz had 100% shot accuracy at the AMEX, getting both of his efforts on target.
– The Colombian took 56 touches in the game, 13 more than Sadio Mane managed and 27 more than Mo Salah.
– Nine of Diaz’s 56 touches came inside the Brighton penalty area.
– Diaz attempted 33 passes in the game, more than any other forward on the pitch, and recorded 75% pass accuracy.
– As well as scoring, the 25-year-old created two goalscoring chances for his team-mates against Brighton.
– Diaz was fouled three times by an opposition player in the 90 minutes, a sign of how dangerous Brighton considered him to be.
– Without the ball, Diaz was equally impressive as he was with it. He won two interceptions and two tackles in the 90 minutes.
– He was also combative, winning six ground duels and one aerial duel.
– Diaz won back possession a total of six times. That, in particular, will please Klopp, who loves his forwards to press high.