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LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Everything becomes easier” – Diogo Jota admits release of first goals in 372 days

After scoring his first goals for Liverpool in over a year, Diogo Jota admitted that “everything becomes easier” once the ball is in the net.

If the first half an hour was anything to go off, you’d have been forgiven for thinking Jota was in for another frustrating night.

After the match, Jamie Carragher even joked he would have “sold” him at that point.

Fortunately, the Portuguese international was back in supporters’ good books by the end of the game, thanks to two great first-time finishes to help put Liverpool out of sight.

After the match, Jota spoke positively about the impact of scoring, saying: “This season has been really really hard, struggling with injuries. Now, I’m trying to get that momentum and games like today will certainly help for that.

“It’s part of football, you try to always believe in yourself but obviously, when you do get the goal, everything becomes easier in the player’s mind.”

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was a particular moment in the first half when Jota’s performance seemed to change for the better. It came when he tackled Weston McKennie and then surged forwards before weighting a tidy pass for Mo Salah to finish past Illan Meslier.

Before that, he had lost possession 15 times from just 35 touches.

That assist for Salah’s first goal seemed to spark a new confidence in Jota, who has provided eight assists in just 20 games this season, something he eluded to after the match.

“It was a great feeling. Obviously, me as a forward I want to score, not only assist as I have been this season.

“Hopefully, I can carry on this form from today,” said the No. 20.

The brace will stand Jota in good stead ahead of facing Nottingham Forest, at Anfield, on Saturday.

With Darwin Nunez breathing down his neck for a spot on the left wing, and Luis Diaz beginning to get game time, Jota knows his spot in the team isn’t guaranteed.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota shoots during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He said: “I just need to take advantage of the moment because it’s really hard to achieve that.

“We are Liverpool, we have great players so, like always, we fight to be in starting XI. And, if not, give your best when you come off the bench.”

Jota has played all across the front three since joining from Wolves in 2020.

For a while, it seemed that he would be Roberto Firmino‘s successor in the false nine role.

However, Cody Gakpo has been preferred in the Brazilian’s place of late, growing steadily in the position since his arrival from PSV Eindhoven in January.

This has left Jota to fight with Nunez for a place in the team.

It is a fight he is currently winning going by Klopp’s team selections, with the Portuguese starting each of the last four matches.