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Jota backs Liverpool forwards to ‘step up’ in Salah absence

Diogo Jota has backed Liverpool’s forwards to step up in the absence of Mohamed Salah as the club look to mount a challenge for the Premier League title.

Jota scored twice and created another as Liverpool beat Bournemouth 4-0 to move five points clear at the top of the table, with Darwin Nunez also on the scoresheet with a brace at the Vitality Stadium.

 

The impressive performances of the duo came as Liverpool cope without leading scorer Salah, who is currently representing Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Jota admits Liverpool miss the ‘world class’ talent of Salah, but has backed the group to find solutions as Jurgen Klopp’s team compete on four fronts.

“Mo [Salah] is a world class player, of course we miss him but we need to step up and find solutions, share responsibilities on the pitch,” Jota told BBC’s Match of the Day.

“Today was good, we have two cup games and then Chelsea and Arsenal which won’t be easy but if you want to fight for the title, these are the games you have to win.

“It’s the Premier League, it’s hard we can only keep winning to make it interesting towards the end because it’s not going to be easy that’s for sure.

“The first goal was a good pass from Cody [Gakpo], I just needed to meet the ball and make contact, it was a good finish. Second one I was a bit lucky, first to react, sometimes that’s all you need to react first to get the ball. I’m happy I could help the team.”

Liverpool are missing a host of leading names with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo among those also missing at Bournemouth.

Jota said his side needed to regroup from a poor first half against the Cherries as each of Liverpool’s four goals arrived after the break in a clinical second-half performance.

“Bournemouth were a team in form, we had this small break now so maybe that’s why we took a bit of time to get into the game. We were a bit static in the first half but in the second half we changed, everything flowed better and we deserved the three points in the end.

“We were too static, we changed players from one side to the other and they got a bit tried and started to give us a yard or two more space. They played really good in the first half but we converted our chances in the second half and that’s football.”

Read – Klopp pleased with ‘beautiful goals’ in Bournemouth win

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