Liverpool's Boxing Day clash against Burnley saw an electrifying return for Diogo Jota as he marked his comeback from injury with a crucial goal, securing a 2-0 victory in the dying moments of the game.
The Portuguese forward, who has been sidelined for over a month due to a hamstring injury, made an emphatic return as he notched his 50th goal for the club in the 90th minute, sealing a much-needed win which sent the Reds to the top of the Premier League.
Diogo's 5️⃣0️⃣th Liverpool goal 👏 pic.twitter.com/JnDKcPDc5b
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 26, 2023
Liverpool took the lead very early into proceedings when Darwin Nunez opened up his body on the edge of the box to curl Cody Gakpo’s cut-back from the left into the far corner beyond the reach of James Trafford.
The Reds then went on to dominate the play and create multiple chances but were twice denied the second goal by VAR. Then, just as Liverpool seemed to be under the cosh, substitute Diogo Jota sealed the win just five minutes after coming on with a neat finish from a tight angle.
Diogo Jota wraps things up 🔴
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 26, 2023
Struggles in front of goal
Jota's absence has been keenly felt by Liverpool in recent weeks. Since his injury sustained during the clash against Manchester City, the Reds have been wasteful in front of goal, notably in the goalless draw against Manchester United and again today against Burnley.
His surprise inclusion on the bench for the Boxing Day fixture came as huge boost for the Reds and his late-game entrance proved to be a game-changer.
Until Jota's introduction after 84 minutes, missed opportunities looked to be story again for the Reds at Turf Moor. But his entrance and subsequent goal served as a timely reminder of his importance to the team.
The finish itself, from an incredibly tight angle, was one that perhaps no one else in the squad could have converted.
Now, as Liverpool look to maintain their title charge, Jota's return to the team - and the scoresheet on a regular basis - could prove to be crucial.