Dazzling Diaz, deadly Diogo and the return of the King

Talking pointsDazzling Diaz, deadly Diogo and the return of the King

By Sam Williams at Anfield


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A double from Diogo Jota was the difference as Liverpool beat Leicester City 2-0 at Anfield.

The Reds recorded a fifth consecutive win across all competitions thanks to predatory finishes in either half from their No.20.

Here are five talking points from Thursday’s Premier League game…

Liverpool 2-0 Leicester: Extended highlights

Diaz dazzles

Luis Diaz’s cameo against Cardiff City at the weekend whetted the appetite – and the new signing certainly did not disappoint on the occasion of his full debut for the club.

The Colombia international was a livewire from the off, blending imagination with industry and slotting into the wide left spot in Liverpool’s front three seamlessly.

Heavily involved throughout, Diaz was unfortunate not to mark his Premier League bow with a goal, but the impression he made on the Anfield faithful was plain to see - and hear - as he was afforded a rapturous standing ovation when being substituted late on.

“His first training session, when I saw him flying about I thought, ‘Yeah, he’ll be OK here!’” a smiling Andy Robertson told BT Sport post-match.

“We just need to let him bed in. He’s still got the language to hopefully pick up and the way we play and everything, but for his first start I thought he was excellent today… flying into tackles and stuff, that’s one way to get the crowd to love you straight away and I think they really took to him.”

“He’s a lad from Portugal…”

Jota’s new song is already firmly established and it rumbled around Anfield with gusto after both of his instinctive strikes.

Diogo Jota: I like to get in those decisive spaces

ReactionDiogo Jota: I like to get in those decisive spacesDiogo Jota's proficiency in the 'decisive spaces' was the difference between Liverpool and Leicester City.

The prolific Portuguese now has 17 goals to his name this season, with 12 of those coming in the Premier League - a tally bettered by only Mohamed Salah.

Overall, his record for Liverpool now reads 30 goals in 60 appearances and, of the 101 he has scored in his club career to date, eight have been netted against Leicester.

“Oh, his name is Diogo!”

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Return of the King

Anfield’s adulation was showered upon Salah before he even set foot on the pitch; the returning No.11 receiving a standing ovation and supportive serenade as he waited on the sideline before entering the action on the hour.

Salah had missed the Reds’ last six matches due to his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations - a tournament that ended in heartbreak four days ago as Egypt were defeated on penalties in the final by Sadio Mane’s Senegal.

Immediately upon resuming club duty, Salah was influential.

He showcased his trademark twinkling feet in the area before seeing his shot from a tight angle blocked by Kasper Schmeichel.

Schmeichel then thwarted him when he tried a deft dink, but the goalkeeper was left helpless when Salah crashed a brilliant curling effort off the crossbar.

Don’t be surprised if goal number 24 of the season arrives at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Another Trent landmark

Trent Alexander-Arnold seemingly records milestones on a weekly basis and Thursday’s game marked another staging post in the Scouser’s career.

Alexander-Arnold has now made 150 league appearances for the club he loves and, at the age of 23 years and 126 days, is the fourth-youngest Liverpool player to reach that figure in the top flight.

Only Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Emlyn Hughes have done so at a younger age and the No.66 played his part in Jota’s opening goal, too.

His fine out-swinging corner located Virgil van Dijk, whose header was saved with Jota on hand to dispatch the rebound.

Fifty of Alexander-Arnold’s 150 Premier League games have ended with clean sheets, while he has scored 10 goals and provided 43 assists.

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‘He’s unstoppable just now’

Robertson was effusive in his praise for match-winner Jota while assessing a performance of professionalism from the Reds.

“To be honest, it was never comfortable,” the left-back said.

“We’ve played better this season, of course we have, but we took our chances at the right time. I think we always felt kind of in control, I don’t really remember Alisson having many saves to make.

“We had a few chances and obviously [Jota] put two away. He’s unstoppable just now and when you’ve got people playing with that confidence we always believe that we can score goals.”



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