Luis Diaz made his Liverpool debut on Sunday as the Reds ran out deserved 3-1 victors over Championship side Cardiff City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and the Colombian star’s work rate made a quick and quite positive impression on the fans.
For a brief moment, though, it seemed like the story around Diaz after the match would be far less positive, with the player seen down on the pitch clutching his knee after an aerial challenge shortly after coming onto the pitch as a second half substitute.
“It was a scary moment,” said Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, who at the time could be seen in apparent disbelief on the touchline before being told by assistant Pepijn Lijnders that Diaz’ injury appeared to be of the sore but less serious contact variety.
“The goal he set up for [Takumi Minamino] was absolutely incredible,” Klopp continued. “High press, counter-press, I love it, then Taki finished it off. Then, the long ball, the heading challenge, and he his knee afterwards. We were all really shocked.
“I had a look on the screen and I saw that everything was fine in the air, everything was fine when he came down, but then I saw the big fella of Cardiff standing on his knee and he has now a bruise there and a scrape. We all said to him, ‘Welcome to England!’”
Diaz’ centring pass on Minamino’s goal took a deflection off fellow onrushing Liverpool attacker Diogo Jota, likely depriving the Colombian of an assist in his debut, but his work to steal the ball, keep it in, and put it into a danger area was noteworthy.
“Now he has his first assist and his first little scar,” the Liverpool manager added. “That’s absolutely okay and I don’t think it will be any more serious. Maybe tomorrow he feels it a little more and we have to react to that but it’s nothing serious.”