Reaction'Crazy 24 hours' - the story behind Diogo Jota's 50th Liverpool goal
Diogo Jota was delighted to make a goalscoring return to action in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Burnley – having initially not expected to even be involved in the game.
The Portugal international had been sidelined since late November due to injury, but was able to take a place on the bench for the Reds’ Boxing Day trip to Turf Moor.
And having been introduced for Darwin Nunez in the 84th minute, Jota went on to score his side’s all-important second goal, smashing home from Luis Diaz’s backheel in the final minute of the 90.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com afterwards, the No.20 reflected on the perfect Christmas present, saying: “It’s massive, it’s a special feeling. It was a crazy 24 hours and I was not expecting to be in this squad list, to be honest.
“I was already at home when I found out I needed to travel back out again to train with the team, but from that moment on I just felt I needed to do this.
“I had some special people in the crowd today, my family, and they came over for Christmas. It was great to get the win, score and be back on the pitch and get these three points. I think it was the best Christmas gift for everyone here.”
Jota, whose late finish brought up the milestone of 50 goals for Liverpool, continued: “I trained with the team for the last couple of days obviously, but it’s like ‘be ready for this’.
“I’m ready for this, that’s why we work and it was such a special feeling knowing I would probably come on today, and to be back with a goal is always special.”
Jota’s goal was a vital one, sealing a victory that was earlier set up by Nunez’s fine sixth-minute strike on an evening when Jürgen Klopp’s men had to dig deep.
Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott saw goals disallowed in either half amid the visitors’ dominance, with Burnley also fighting back strongly after the interval.
“We were contemplating on the bench as well,” Jota said.
“Because these are the type of games when you are 1-0 up, you have chances, you miss them and you score then it’s disallowed for offside or a foul, and you just feel ‘we need this second goal’ because they will believe, they are playing at home, it’s Burnley and they are able to score.
“They had a couple of chances as well but fortunately for us we were the ones scoring that second goal and it was decisive.”