Diogo Jota

Liverpool are masters of this script. The Premier League Champions are back to top spot after a hard-fought win over a stubborn West Ham.

Right in the middle of a defensive crisis, Jürgen Klopp’s men would not let up, it’s what made them Champions. The win equaled a club record and gives them the second-longest unbeaten home run (63) in Premier League history, behind José Mourinho’s Chelsea (86) of 2004-2008.

Liverpool’s 2-1 win was secured by a Mo Salah equalizer and Diogo Jota, who scored the winner after being teed up by a sublime pass from Xherdan Shaqiri, minutes after an initial winner was disallowed.

That’s a third crucial goal in a week for Jota, after he also scored the club’s 10,000th goal against Midtjylland in the Champions League.

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The Portuguese’s proven quality has helped him to settle quickly into The Champions’ setup since he scored the winner against Arsenal minutes into his debut.

The 23-year-old is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite of the passionate Merseyside faithful. 

Pointedly, all four goals for Liverpool were scored at the Kop end, in only four starts from nine appearances. What better way to warm to the Liverpool hearts.

The Portugal International’s £40million acquisition from Wolves was a surprise, if not inspired, transfer coup. He is already superseding his wildcard prospects to become a real weapon as a starter or game-changer off the bench.

“Look, I played two games in the starting XI before this one. This is a team. The manager chooses the XI and then we just need to do our job,” he told Liverpool’s official website.

As a starter, Jota’s presence allows Bobby Firmino to fully occupy the creative spaces between the lines, while he is a livewire option as a substitute, as was the case with Firmino being ineffective against the Hammers. His offensive and defensive contribution matches that of Salah and Sadio Mané in particular and relieves the pressure and workload on the dynamic duo amidst this hectic schedule.

Jota offers the Reds tireless running, goalscoring instinct, and dynamism across the front three. He crucially has the flexibility and mindset to be a Liverpool player which is making all the difference at the moment.

Diogo Jota
Jota, here celebrating his 85th minute winner, has had a glorious start to life as a Liverpool player. (Getty Images)

Jota has been regarded as “a pressing monster” by assistant manager, Pep Lijnders, and rightly so. But he has become more of a goal machine to help out massively in his first month as a Liverpool player

Liverpool fans would be hoping for more of the same, as they gear up for a crucial week with a tantalizing spectacle at Atalanta in midweek before facing Man City in the Premier League on Sunday.

One suspects Jota will play a key role in navigating two season-defining games.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
November 1, 2020
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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