Diogo Jota scored a hattrick to help Liverpool to an impressive 5-0 Champions League victory over Atalanta. The Portuguese striker’s three goals represented his first hattrick for the club since signing for them during the past off-season.
The victory ensured that Liverpool extended their lead over Ajax in Group D to five points. It also guaranteed the English club a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League if they were again to defeat Atalanta on Nov 25.
Jota actually did not start the game in the best fashion after missing an easy chance to score. However, he made amends in the 16th minute after receiving a pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Jota then fended off Atalanta centre-back José Luis Palomino before converting the opportunity, putting Liverpool 1-0 ahead.
In the 33rd minute, Jota scored his and Liverpool’s second goal. It was Joe Gomez who this time set up the goal. This goal was a perfectly-positioned right-footed shot which left Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello with absolutely no chance at all.
It remained 2-0 at halftime. Two minutes after the interval, Mohamed Salah made it 3-0 in favour of Liverpool. Salah collected a clearance played by Andy Robertson, then ran with the ball from the halfway line before scoring. A few minutes later, Sadio Mané would net Liverpool’s fourth with an excellent chip. Shortly after, Jota would complete his hattrick as well as the avalanche of Liverpool goals. It was Jota’s seventh goal in his first 10 Liverpool matches.
Jota’s efforts earned him an early end to his night, as he was replaced by Roberto Firmino in the 65th minute. Despite Jota’s departure, Liverpool remained utterly relentless and almost scored a sixth goal in the 83rd minute. Salah attempted a shot after a run similar to the one which produced his earlier goal. However, Sportiello was able to make the save on this occasion.
Jota’s performance was not the only one to catch the eye during the dominant victory. Centre-back Rhys Williams had an outstanding performance while filling in for injured star defender Virgil van Dijk. Van Dijk will miss the rest of the season after having torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the recent Merseyside derby against Everton.
Liverpool head coach Jürgen Klopp was full of praise for Williams, the young Englishman who is in his first season at the club.
“(He was) exceptional,” Klopp said of Williams. “I cannot imagine being 19 and playing in the Champions League against (Atalanta), it’s incredible!”
“We had to change because (van Dijk) is not there anymore, so we share the responsibility,” added Klopp. “We put it on ten (pairs of) shoulders instead of one.”
Liverpool and Atalanta will have a rematch in their next Champions League match. It will take place on Nov 25.
4th November 2020 16:47
This article brought to you by Legacy Times 传城时代