It’s important that we don’t judge Diogo Jota despite Liverpool’s 7-2 Premier League defeat to Aston Villa. The winger made his first start for the Reds.
Diogo Jota made his debut on Sunday and lost 7-2. That doesn’t exactly sound great, does it? He was the only addition from last year who played, after all, and yet this did not look like the Liverpool of last year.
But it’s important not to judge Jota at all for this display. It’s hard to think of a more difficult way to make your first Premier League start for a new club.
Jota hit the target with three shots at Villa Park (all stats per Whscored). That was more than any other Liverpool player and all but Ollie Watkins in the game, who managed four.
Jota even threw in a key pass for good measure. In truth, that’s all quite impressive considering the chaos around him.
The negatives? He attempted two dribbles but failed both times. He tried three tackles but made just one. And Villa dribbled past him twice, while he committed three fouls – the most in the game.
But the positives and negatives have to be written off for this one. Jota came into a team that just didn’t function. They didn’t press properly, they didn’t retain possession properly – they certainly didn’t defend properly.
That all makes it nigh-on impossible to adjust as a player. Jota is still adjusting to Liverpool’s style of play, after all, but he came into this one and found his team doing virtually nothing that they’ve taught him over the last two weeks.
So how is he supposed to know what to do in a situation like this? Few on the Liverpool team knew – Mohamed Salah aside – so Jota was never going to.
Fingers crossed, then, that the next time Jota starts, Liverpool don’t capitulate into anything like a 7-2 defeat. Then we can get a proper look at him for 90 minutes.
Click here to read more of our thoughts on Liverpool’s embarrassing display.