Roberto Firmino under "huge pressure" at Liverpool after Diogo Jota hat-trick


Liverpool new-boy Diogo Jota has well and truly put the spotlight on Roberto Firmino with his European exploits, Rio Ferdinand believes.

The £41million summer signing from Wolves ran riot in the Merseysiders’ latest Champions League outing, which saw them demolish Serie A side Atalanta 5-0 away from home.

Portugal international Jota was the star of the show at the Stadio Bergamo, scoring a scintillating hat-trick.

The 23-year-old’s haul against the Italians has taken his tally to the season to seven goals in ten appearances for the defending Premier League champions.

And Ferdinand reckons it’s turned the heat up on the under-performing Firmino, who has found the back of the net once in 11 appearances this campaign.



Diogo Jota ran riot in Liverpool’s Champions League mauling of Atalanta on Tuesday night

During an appearance on BT Sport, the former Manchester United and England defender said: “The forwards, you couldn’t have asked for more.

“The recruitment team have done fantastically well, [Jurgen] Klopp, bedding him in the way he has.

“And him showing his character and personality to really go in there and take it by storm amongst the front three who are looked around Europe as one of the best front threes.



Bob Paisley (1974-83): 20

Bill Shankly (1959-74): 11

Kenny Dalglish (1985-91, 2011-12): 10

Gerard Houllier (1998-2004): 6

Jurgen Klopp (2015-): 4

Rafael Benitez (2004-10): 4

Joe Fagan (1983-85): 3

Tom Watson (1896-1915): 3

“I’m sure Firmino will be sitting there compiling a little playback list to give to Klopp to remind him of what he’s capable of doing.

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“Firmino, like it or not, will want to start and this guy’s putting him under huge pressure.”

Jota, understandably, was over the moon with his night’s work, telling BT Sport: “I’m playing in the best team of my career so far.

“I don’t know if it’s the best moment of my career but obviously scoring goals is my way of playing football.

“I’m happy with this, a great win away in Champions League, a good moment and a good night.”

Kop chief Klopp was thrilled with his team’s display, telling BT Sport: “That was a performance we needed tonight.

“My boys played an incredible game, the front line defending and attacking was outstanding.



Diogo Jota’s hat-trick has taken his tally for the season to seven goals

“Midfield organisation, desire, readiness. Top level, last line pushing up and knowing the threat Atalanta can cause.

“You win a game 5-0, you could score more goals but our goalie had to still make three world-class saves. Overall a really good game.

“It’s about the players, it was difficult against us tonight, I don’t think anyone could’ve defended against Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Diogo Jota so it wasn’t about the tactics or our system it was about the team.

“90% of my players have three games in the international break, my players are still on duty. After City this weekend it’s only me who gets a week off.

“But we have to recover now and we will need it. Then we can see who is available and City are a different team so we have to make sure we’re ready for that.”

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Jota and his Reds team-mates will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, travelling to the Etihad to take on their title rivals Manchester City.





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