Arriving at Liverpool as something of an unknown entity, Diogo Jota has emerged as a cult hero throughout his time at Liverpool. The Portugal international, who showed sporadic glimpses of excellence throughout his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers, joined the Reds just a day after they announced the signing of Thiago, a deal that had been circling the rumour mill for weeks. Similar to how they conducted business for Fabinho, Jota came in out of nowhere and given his track record in the Black Country, it was seen as a strange acquisition given Liverpool’s status as league champions.
In a bid to bolster their attacking options, Jürgen Klopp picked up Jota for a relatively paltry £30 million, and from the off, he added a new dimension to Liverpool’s front three. The fact he was able to break up the established triumvirate of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané is testament to his performances in a red shirt and his debut goal against Arsenal was a sign of things to come.
Indeed, Jota has been a thorn in the side of the Gunners over the years and his return to fitness coincides with the Reds’ trip to the Emirates, where for once they aren’t considered favourites when making an Arsenal v Liverpool bet. However, given Jota’s impressive record against Mikel Arteta’s side, there’s always a chance he could crop up on the scoresheet. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the goals he scored against the Gunners so far.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal – September 2020
Serving as his first appearance for Liverpool at a behind-closed-doors Anfield, Klopp’s side were fortunate with some refereeing decisions and despite leading 2-1 the Gunners were piling on the pressure. Up steps Jota off the bench to kill the ball dead with his thigh before rifling it in the bottom corner to ensure all three points on his debut.
Arsenal 0-3 Liverpool – April 2021
Considering how Liverpool had suffered a dip in form in the early months of 2021, this game proved to be a turning point. The Reds were all but out of the Champions League, but Jota’s brace at the Emirates ensured they started the winning run that would secure a top-four finish come the end of the season. Clever movement let him get between the centre-backs for a header before a Liverpool overload in the box allowed Jota to have acres of space for a routine finish for his second.
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal – November 2021
This was the first visit to a packed-out Anfield for some of Arsenal’s inexperienced side, and they wilted under the emotional pressure cooker that the ground can be at its best. Having been lucky to go into the break just a goal down, Jota doubled his side’s lead by capitalising on an Arsenal error before rounding Aaron Ramsdale and converting beautifully. Further goals from Salah and Takumi Minamino would ensure another Merseyside rout for Arteta.
Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool – January 2022
Despite heading into their second leg of the League Cup goalless, there was an inevitability about Liverpool’s path to Wembley after they played Arsenal off the park at the Emirates again. Jota carried the ball some distance before giving his side the lead, and then wrapped things up with an impressive second to send the travelling fans into a frenzy.
Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool – March 2022
Roughly six weeks later and more of the same. Though the performance in the first half was admirable from Arsenal, and the Gunners might have taken the lead if they were more ruthless, Liverpool showed their proficiency in the second half with Jota lashing the ball in at the near post. Roberto Firmino secured all three points for the Reds with his goal on the hour mark, demonstrating the team’s title credentials. Two shots, two goals, three points — clinical.