Liverpool coach Jurgen Kloop has hailed new boy Diogo Jota who bagged a hat trick as the Reds completely blew away Atalanta in the Champions League to consolidate their position at the top of Group D.
In what was initially tipped to be a high-tempo, end-to-end football match, it ended up a fairly one-sided affair with Liverpool completely blowing away the hosts at the Gewiss Stadium.
It was Jota who stole the show on the day as the Portugal international kept his impressive scoring form going as he bagged goals his new side for the third straight game.
He opened the scoring as early as the 16th minute after ghosting past the Atalanta defence to put a delicate chip past goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.
Atalanta’s best chance at goals was in the form of Duvan Zapata, who threatened Liverpool’s make shift defence on several occasions, including in the 29th minute when he hit the bar despite being offside.
Minutes later and Liverpool would get the much desired cushion and it came from Jota once again as he brilliantly controlled a ball over the top from Joe Gomez to thrash a half volley into the near post.
Liverpool went into half time with a comfortable 2-0 lead courtesy of Jota, who was started ahead of Roberto Firmino who was traditionally the preferred choice in Liverpool’s potent attack.
The Reds did not relent in their attacks after the break as they took advantage of an extremely naïve Atalanta defence with Mo Salah getting in on the act barely two minutes into the half.
The Egyptian was fed through by Curtis Jones after a failed corner by the hosts and he ran right from his own half to slot home his side’s third goal.
Two minutes later Salah turned to creator, as he slotted a neat pass to Sadio Mane who in turn dinked the ball over the keeper for his side’s fourth.
A perfect night for Jota and Liverpool was capped in the 55th minute with Atalanta once again guilty of leaving acres of space to Liverpool’s pacey front three.
Jota was played through on goal by Mane and went on to nod the ball past an oncoming goalkeeper to secure his first hat trick for his side.
The slight worry for Jurgen Klopp’s men will be the fact that Jota hopped off the 66th minute in what looked like a slight knock.
Atalanta came closest in the second half when Zapata set himself up for a powerful show which cannoned off the post.
Despite a host of other chances, Liverpool settled for the 5-0 win which kept them five points clear at the top of Group D with a perfect record so far.