Diogo Jota feels victory over Arsenal was crucial for Liverpool’s top four bid

Mark Mann-Bryans, PA
·3-min read

Diogo Jota came off the bench to score twice in Liverpool’s win over Arsenal – a victory the forward believes is crucial in the fight to finish in the Premier League top four.

The reigning Premier League champions will not retain their crown this season but remain in the race for a Champions League spot following a convincing 3-0 success at the Emirates Stadium.

Liverpool dominated proceedings but did not break the deadlock until after Jota’s introduction on the hour.

Arsenal v Liverpool – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Diogo Jota headed Liverpool in front on their way to victory over Arsenal (Adam Davy/PA)

The Portugal international headed in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross before wrapping up the points after Mohamed Salah had doubled Liverpool’s advantage.

They are now two points off the top four and Jota is targeting victory in all of the remaining league games to makes sure a top-four finish is assured.

“Very important,” he replied when asked how important the result was in the race for the top four.

“I said after the last game, to think about higher spots in the table we need to do our job which is to win every single game until the end.

Arsenal v Liverpool – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s second goal against Arsenal (Catherine Ivill/PA)

“If we do that I think we have a chance to be there…I think if we do our job we have a high chance to be there because it is very hard to win in the Premier League. Saturday we did our job, let’s go to the next one.”

Jota also feels the result and performance were the perfect way to prepare for Tuesday night’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with Real Madrid.

“It’s really important,” he told the club’s official website.

“It’s another clean sheet, which is really important as well. Everyone is working hard and well and now we have that hard game against Real and we want to do that as well.”

Arsenal v Liverpool – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has demanded his players respond to defeat to Liverpool (Catherine Ivill/PA)

Arsenal never looked like winning the contest and sorely missed the likes of Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka and Emile Smith Rowe – all out through a mixture of illness and injury.

Manager Mikel Arteta said his side were “extremely poor” and the Spaniard has now demanded a reaction in their Europa League quarter-final tie with Slavia Prague.

Asked if he expected his players to show a statement of intent against the Czech Republic outfit, Arteta said: “Absolutely.

“This is the minimum that we can do, to perform at a completely different level on Thursday.

“What we do is talk on the pitch. To talk now on the cameras and say we’re going to do this or that, to try to find excuses because we don’t have this player or the international break cost us, it’s not good enough. It’s time to talk on the pitch on Thursday.”