"What I don’t like about this" - Jurgen Klopp on Diogo Jota substitution

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended Reds forward Diogo Jota.

As we explained earlier today, the German started the Portugal international against Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica (Champions League semi-final, second leg) last night.

Liverpool really struggled in the first-half. The La Liga side possessed a 2-0 lead and were level on aggregate going into the break.

With that being the case, Jota was replaced by Luis Diaz at half-time. In the second 45 minutes, the Colombia international ended up propelling Liverpool towards a 3-2 victory over Villarreal (5-2 on aggregate).

However, Klopp does not believe that Jota was the "problem" in the first-half.

He told Liverpool’s official website the following: “He (Diaz) had a massive impact (on the match). But what I don’t like about this is the next story (from media and pundits) is around that Diogo Jota was our problem: he was not at all our problem, we just had to mix it up.”

Anfield Watch Verdict

We can see where Klopp is coming from. The reality is, Liverpool were defending for the majority of the first-half.

It was difficult for Jota to have any influence on the match. Overall, the Portugal international has been a superb signing for the Reds.

The striker has scored 34 goals and registered seven assists in 79 appearances for the club's first-team.

Jota has also been terrific this season. He has been averaging a WhoScored player rating of 7.04 across all competitions.

We expect Jota to continue improving over time. The forward is only 25 years of age after all. Therefore, it would be fair to assume that Jota is far from the finished article.

Jota is contracted until the summer of 2025, so he should spend the next few years at Anfield.

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