Colombia's Luis Diaz celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Brazil during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at Roberto Melendez stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

Marcelo Bielsa has admitted ‘there is no plan B’ for stopping Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez will meet for a place in the Copa America final in the early hours of Thursday morning, and Marcelo Bielsa acknowledged the danger Liverpool’s No. 7 poses.

Alexis Mac Allister has already secured his place in the weekend’s final, with Argentina now awaiting the victor of Colombia and Uruguay.

It means the Reds will have a guaranteed trophy winner, but there are 90 minutes – and a possible penalty shootout – left to see if it is Nunez or Diaz that will meet Mac Allister.

The pair have two goals each in the tournament to date, but it was Colombia’s No. 7 on the end of praise from Bielsa, who conceded in his pre-match press conference that there is ‘no plan B’ to stop him.

“You think that if we defend with 40 metres behind us, Diaz will lick his chops. If Diaz has space behind him, he likes it, and if we defend in front of the area, he likes it too,” Bielsa assessed, via AS.

“You imagine the games preventing the opponent from attacking and trying to attack. But if you imagine it in the opponent’s half and you can’t get it, they always ask for plan B.

“There isn’t one, there is a plan A that you have to do as well as possible. A compact team plans to attack because it means dominating, but if it can’t, it has to know how to defend.

“We attack better and Colombia attacks better than it defends and we defend, but we know that we have to defend and then God will tell.”

Colombia's Luis Diaz (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

It says a lot about Diaz that Bielsa highlighted the danger he poses to his side, especially in the wake of a superb goal against Panama last time out that saw him expose a high line.

He’s clearly on the minds of the Uruguayan’s and he will need to be mindful of that as Colombia search for their first final appearance in the competition since 2001.

It is always interesting listening to Bielsa’s thoughts on the game – his warning over modern football becoming less and less attractive a key example – and we’re intrigued to see how this semi-final plays out.

He has got the best out of Nunez and is building his confidence back up after a tough end to last season, something we all hope to see him bring back to Anfield this summer.