August 5, 2021

SportsOnly

Football and other sports news

Diogo Jota scores a hat trick as Liverpool trash Atalanta

2 min read

Diogo Jota continued his red-hot form with a hat-trick as Liverpool won their opening three games of a Champions League Group stage for the first time ever courtesy of an emphatic 5-0 success at Atalanta.

The Portuguese forward was given an opportunity to stake a claim for a more regular spot ahead of Roberto Firmino and duly produced a display to suggest the Brazilian’s place in the famed front three could be under real threat.

Jota opened the scoring with a sublime dinked finish before a wonderful first touch set up the chance for him to drill home his second just past the half hour.

Liverpool then ran riot at the start of the second period as the Italians feel apart. Mo Salah became the club’s joint-second highest scorer in Europe alongside Michael Owen (22) when he ran clear to curve home before Sadio Mane got in on the act with a fine clipped finish from the Egyptian’s pass.

Mane then turned provider to send Jota clear. The former Wolves man showed great pace to charge in-behind, round the keeper and slot in his first hat-trick for the Reds.

Ahead of the contest, Atalanta’s adventurous style was highlighted as a serious threat to the Merseysiders’ injury-hit central defence, but it never really materialised as 19-year-old Rhys Williams shone alongside Joe Gomez on his first Champions League start.

Liverpool will now turn their attention to the small matter of Sunday’s Premier League showdown at Manchester City, but in terms of Group D, they will hope to clinch qualification to the knockout stage at home to Atalanta on November 25 while Ajax host FC Midtjylland.

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