“He wants us to take fuel from it” – Luis Diaz’s selflessness shines despite “horrible situation”

The 26-year-old came off the bench in the 83rd minute of the teams 1-1 draw with Luton on Sunday and scored a dramatic equaliser deep into added time.

It was his first appearance since his father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was abducted in the town of Barrancas on October 28.

The striker was absent for Liverpools wins over Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth but marked a sensational return to action by heading in Harvey Elliotts cross five minutes into stoppage time at Kenilworth Road.

The group responsible for the abduction, the National Liberation Army, has asked for security guarantees in exchange for his fathers release.

Following the game against Luton, Van Dijk said: Hes been training with us, knowing that its so fresh, whats going on. He feels like being with us is a safe place, so it helps him.

Were here for him. We mentioned it last week, its an absolutely horrible situation. Hopefully there will be a solution. Well be here for him and everybody should support him. Hopefully it will be sorted as soon as possible.

Liverpool had looked set to fall to a shock defeat before Diazs late intervention, falling behind 10 minutes from time to a goal by Luton substitute Tahith Chong.

Hes still disappointed because he also wanted to win, said Van Dijk. Theres a lot of emotions in his head. It must have been (meant to be) that he should have scored. Im happy for him, but hopefully we can get his father back as soon as possible.

You cant imagine it, thats the scary part. The only thing we can do is hope they will find him safe and sound and they get him back to his family.

When it happened it was a shock to everyone. We spoke about it and it should give us extra motivation. He doesnt want us to suffer from what hes going through, he wants us to take fuel from it.

In front of a raucous home support, the visitors struggled to break down Luton for long periods as they sought the win that would have put them second in the Premier League.

Darwin Nunez in particular was guilty of wasteful finishing when chances came, hitting the bar in the first half before conspiring to balloon an effort over from three yards out after the break.

I dont think it was down to the atmosphere, said Van Dijk. We had the first chance after half-an-hour. Score that one and its a completely different game.

We didnt and then they need one opportunity. Their results here this season have been very small margins. Thats down to how they play, they defend compact and solid.

I respect that, but we could have made it a lot easier.