3/11 ground duels won, 0 key passes: Dismal display from 23 y/o cost Liverpool the win – opinion

Liverpool missed the chance to return to the top of the Premier League as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It could have been worse for Jurgen Klopp’s side, however, had Kevin De Bruyne not put his first-half penalty wide of Alisson’s post, following a handball from Joe Gomez.

Diogo Jota was handed a start by the German boss for the game against Pep Guardiola’s side, although he seemed to be playing slightly deeper than he has in recent games, perhaps to accommodate for the inclusion of Roberto Firmino.

Unfortunately for the Reds, the Portuguese international was unable to have the same impact as he did against Atalanta in midweek, when his superb hat-trick earned him a lot of plaudits, with Michael Owen suggesting following the win that it was “a stunning hat-trick” (per Daily Mail).

As per SofaScore, the former Wolves man picked up a 6.2 rating for his display, which was the joint-worst of any Liverpool player during the game.

Whilst Jota was very accurate with his passing, with 23/25 of his efforts finding their mark, he managed just 41 touches during the game and made zero key passes, suggesting that he wasn’t able to have any real impact on the game in an attacking sense.

It can also be argued that Manchester City’s defence and midfield got the better of the 23-year-old, as he was able to win just three out of 11 of his ground duels during Sunday’s game.

However, it has still been an excellent start to life at Liverpool for Jota, with him having scored seven goals in 11 appearances for the Merseyside club since joining from Wolves in the summer, and at just 23-years-old, it can be argued that he still has a lot of time to improve in this Liverpool side.

The forward will be hoping to get back to his best in the Reds’ next fixture, which sees them take on top-of-the-table Leicester City in a crunch clash at Anfield following the international break.

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