Solskjaer is the big loser along with PSG. Thiago Silva, Jota and Man City are all winners.

Diogo Jota

People often talk about cycles in football, whether it be tactical shifts from 4-4-2 and the low block to 4-3-3 and false nines, or the typical Jose Mourinho three-year spell at a club before it all goes kaput. It was a question asked of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool ahead of this season: how long will their cycle of dominance last?

It was a holistic question really aimed at the Fab Three. How long can Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino be so consistently brilliant? It was a daft question. Barring injuries – to which they appear basically immune – there’s no reason why they couldn’t be Liverpool’s arrowhead for the next three seasons at least.

No, the question – although the non-Liverpool supporters among us were fearful to contemplate the answer – really should have been: can they be even better? For f***’s sake, yes they can. Those slightly perplexed by the £40million spent on a player not starting for Wolves are now left with that familiar sense of begrudging acknowledgement. Liverpool did it again: Diogo Jota is a potential superstar.

Ready to field the inevitable questions as to whether Roberto Firmino could be left out in the cold after Jota’s stunning hat-trick against Atalanta, Klopp responded: “It is important we have more than 11 and tonight Diogo played a super game and that says nothing about Bobby and nothing to do with causing me headaches.”

He’s right, of course. Particularly in a season like this, the Fab Three were always going to need suitable back-up and Klopp’s reasoning for starting Jota in Bergamo suggested a horses for courses approach that he has already expertly negotiated with his midfield.

But he must privately know his favoured front trio. And although he – like us – loves Firmino, recognising his input in building this Liverpool team into what they are and his continuing worth, his form has dipped significantly. He’s not scoring goals and – more significantly – not creating them either  Continue reading

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