For the second game in a row in the league, Liverpool introduced one of their big summer signings in the second half. And for the second game in a row in the league, that big new summer signing made a big difference.
A week after Thiago Alcantara came on and bossed Chelsea, Diogo Jota came on and scored the goal that put the game to bed, scoring Liverpool’s third against an outclassed Arsenal side never as close as the scoreline.
“It means a lot,” Jota told the club’s official website following the victory. “When you arrive at a team that are world champions, you always try to adapt as quickly as possible. The way they received me is exceptional.
“I think we can build up from here and do great things in the future. Obviously I could have done better, I had a couple of chances before. But I’m happy with this—getting my first goal in my first [Premier League] game.”
Jota was on the pitch for just about ten minutes and could have scored three goals as he slipped mostly seamlessly—a miscue with Mohamed Salah in the box aside, at least—into the role usually played by Sadio Mané.
He might think he could have done better, but for most the takeaway will be just how good he looked. For most, the takeaway will be that Liverpool for the first time have a legitimate option to rotate with Mané and Salah.
“When we are on the bench we are watching the game closely,” Jota added. “We know we could come on at any moment and we could have a chance to decide the game. That’s what I try to do—always be focused.”