Nothing like an Arsenal fixture on the calendar to keep Liverpool rolling.
A comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Gunners was the Reds’ third straight in all competitions as the push for top four kicks off in earnest.
Defeat for Leicester City to presumptive champions Manchester City and a shock 5-2 Chelsea loss to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion earlier day—in third and fourth positions in the Premier League table respectively—gave Jürgen Klopp’s side a boost coming into their own crucial clash.
The visitors imposed themselves early at the Emirates Stadium, pinning the Londoners back and carving out a number of half chances in the opening period. The introduction of the effervescent Diogo Jota late in the second half was then instantly rewarded, as the 24-year-old smashed in an 18-minute brace to bookend Mohamed Salah’s first league goal in five appearances.
It was one of those fabled six-pointers as the victory combined with Chelsea’s surprise loss helped close the gap between the Blues and the defending champions to two points instead of the eight experts would’ve predicted coming into the matchday.
It marks another stunning entry in the tale of Jota’s start to life at Anfield. The Reds had nothing to show for their dominance up until the Portuguese’s 61st minute introduction, with the livewire forward’s tenacity, incessant movement and nerveless finishing providing the spark.
“We controlled the game,” Jota said speaking to Sky Sports after the match. “We didn’t allow them to have much possession. In football you need to score to make a difference and that’s what we did. Three-nil gave us extra comfort.”
“We had to do our job,” Jota continued. “We want to win every single game until the end.”
“If we win the remaining games, I’m pretty sure we will be there [top four]. We need to think about ourselves.”
“We have to win every game.”
The summer signing was happy that his own form, that has seen him bag a crucial 12 goals in 22 matches across all competitions, has contributed to the cause:
“I want to be involved in goals,” the no. 20 said. “I’m doing that. I was injured but I’m hoping to contribute to the end of the season.”
“The most important thing was I was there to make a difference—that is what I want to do always.”