Diogo Jota produced a sub-par display at the City Ground, but yet again, the enigma came up with the winner as Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest 1-0.
Jota struggled throughout 95 minutes in Nottingham on Sunday night, but it was the No. 20 who was on hand to touch in Kostas Tsimikas‘ right-footed cross to seal progress to the FA Cup semi-finals.
Liverpool have, therefore, booked a clash with Man City at Wembley next month, while Jota’s 19th goal of the season means he is enjoying the best scoring campaign of his career.
But as fans assessed the quarter-final, they were again baffled as to how a “genuine 3/10 performance” ended up with the Portuguese scoring another vital goal.
A good, old fashioned cup tie that. Forest gave as good as they got and I actually thought we were quite poor second half. Finding a way all that matters at this stage though. Jota’s general play has been lacking in recent weeks but he certainly knows where the goal is.
— Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler) March 20, 2022
Diogo Jota might've just had the worst match winning performance I've ever seen in my life ?. Seemed to do absolutely everything wrong constantly through the match from his early loss of possession to his last kick blasting his shot high into the stands.
— Red (@TaintlessRed) March 20, 2022
Jota is the strangest player ever, lad looks like he couldn't trap a bag of cement and gives a genuine 3/10 performance but still pops up with the winner, easy to see why Klopp left him on
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) March 20, 2022
Diogo Jota, the man who could frustrate you during a game but will always pop up with a goal out of nothing. What a player, love him.
— Sam (@SamueILFC) March 20, 2022
jota is funny man he's painful to watch but all his goals this season have been key
— Vik (@LFCVik2) March 20, 2022
Jota has been horrendous but scores another important goal. He’s an enigma.
— Jim (@J__81__G) March 20, 2022
This Jota performance… pic.twitter.com/rw0uIBBJlw
— Ahmed ?? (@ahmedIfc) March 20, 2022
Jota is a lion. Let's the lionesses do the work and he feasts. A consummate predator
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) March 20, 2022
Two absolute bedrocks of this mental season in that game:
1) When Jota is playing that badly and isn't hooked, he's scoring the winner.
2) That winner comes just after the opponents miss a massive chance.
Almost one game too far, but…job done.
— Mo Stewart (@The_Mighty_Mojo) March 20, 2022
It's a really really tidy finish from Jota. He is perfecting the crucial notion of a centre forward doing not much except scoring. Some great players made long careers out of it.
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) March 20, 2022
It has not been a vintage run of form for Jota in recent weeks, but the 25-year-old has now found the back of the net in consecutive games, including the crucial opener at Arsenal in midweek.
This display at the City Ground was, in many ways, characteristic of his time at Liverpool, with Jota rarely contributing in the buildup as the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino do, but often finishing with world-class ease.
Jurgen Klopp, who made a quadruple substitution midway through the second half, was vindicated in his decision to keep Jota on, with the bid for four trophies still alive.