Football

Juergen Klopp dismisses selection headache after Diogo Jota treble

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said "good performances never give me a headache" after Diogo Jota scored a hat-trick in the Reds' 5-0 Champions League Group D win over Atalanta yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Jota started in place of Roberto Firmino, who has scored just once in his 11 appearances this season. The 23-year-old Portuguese meanwhile, has seven goals in 10 games since his move from Wolverhampton Wanderers in September.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored the Reds' other goals in Bergamo as Liverpool stay top of the group on maximum points after three matches.

Klopp insisted Jota's form does not give him a selection problem ahead of the English Premier League clash with Manchester City on Monday morning.

He said: "Good performances never give me a headache.

"For tonight, it was clear that it made more sense to use the good shape that Diogo is in and because of the way Atalanta plays in defence, it made sense that the skill set of Diogo helps.

"The world is sometimes a really bad place that in the moment when someone is shining, we speak immediately of a player who played for us it feels like 500 games in a row, and we would not be in the Champions League if Bobby Firmino would not be with us.

"He will be in the team and for a lot of people in the world, if you ask them 'What makes Liverpool something special?', they would say the way Bobby Firmino is playing.

"For us, it's important that we have more than 11.

"Tonight Diogo played a super, super game but that says nothing about Bobby."

Jota, meanwhile, praised his strike partners Mane and Salah after he became just the second player to score on his first two starts in the Champions League for Liverpool since Robbie Keane in 2008.

He said: "I'm playing in the best team of my career so far.

"Obviously they (Mane and Salah) are two world-class players, we all know their quality, which makes it easier for me to do my job because they are outstanding and we had a great game together today.

"Five goals, that doesn't happen so often. We scored early so that's a good moment for me and the team and then we can manage the game our way.

"The clean sheet as well, if we can keep a clean sheet against City, we will win the game," he added of their next EPL match. - REUTERS, AFP

Football