Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Liverpool’s Man of the Match
Diogo Jota: Rediscovering Form
I remember at the close of last season, wondering whether the man Liverpool signed from Wolves (for £40m), could rediscover his previous terrific form after an injury riddled campaign and a run of poor performances at the end of campaign. When the reds signed the ferocious Portuguese forward in 2020, it was the early era of COVID, where an attempt at re-energiwing a world class forward line of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané, was attempted.
🇵🇹 Diogo Jota has been so clinical for #LFC this season.
He’s averaging a goal contribution every 78 minutes in all competitions.
No Premier League player has averaged a better minutes per non-penalty goal contribution in all competitions this season.
Top class. … pic.twitter.com/qSwFHqkPwI
— AnfieldIndex (@AnfieldIndex) January 21, 2024
That summer signing was a reported back up plan to the failed attempt to sign Timo Werner, given an inability to pay the £52m release clause on the former RB Leipzig striker. Chelsea ended up with the stuttering German, whereas Liverpool completed the purchase of Diogo Jota. We all know how that Werner transfer went and how his career continues to evolve, or dissolve it may seem. My reservations last season (on Jota) have been proved dramatically wrong, which to my delight, has seen the tenacious attacker surge into a run of elite level form.
The Game: Jota’s Impact and Team Dynamics
The words in one of the links below states, Composure, technique, assurance. Squeaky clean.
That very blunt and forthright assessment of this game is correct, yet I believe the thing that is missing (and most vital to the man), is an unwavering commitment to the team and a continuing determination to score. Sometimes the uncontrolled dribbling can look awkward on the eye, which is exactly the kind of confusion that is causing issue with opposing defenders. In Darwin Núñez, Luis Díaz, and Diogo Jota, there is real uncertainty in what they will do in possession, which is being tempered beautifully by the finesse of Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah (when he is playing).
Diogo Jota vs. Bournemouth
73% Pass accuracy
3/4 Accurate long passes
2 Big chances created
2/2 Shots on target
6/16 Duels won
3/5 Tackles won
Composure, technique, assurance. Squeaky clean. pic.twitter.com/GnALO5YqYE
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) January 21, 2024
The rock and roll experience of years gone by requires players that operate outside of the footballing box, as this is not a methodical (or sports washing) enterprise known as Manchester City. Today’s man of the match was unplayable in the second half, with a crisp assist (for the opening goal) doubled down upon by a pair of emphatic finishes. The chaos theory and engagement of these players absolutely needs players that can be precise and clinical, which is why I opted for the reds two goal forward today.
Standout Performances and Looking Ahead
It must be noted that Darwin Núñez was terrific, Alexis Mac Allister sublime, whereas the two twin towers in the central of defence were monstrous.
The EFL second leg comes next, as the pursuit of all four trophies continues. After that, a decision will have to be made on the level of seriousness an be undertaken for the FA Cup 4th round and subsequent visit of Norwich. Chelsea will be welcomed to Anfield in the midweek thereafter, before a spine-tingling trip to Arsenal. Today was tremendous but the next two weeks utterly critical.
Bournemouth 1 – 3 Liverpool