Diogo Jota continued his rich vein of form in 2021/22 for Liverpool on Wednesday night.
The Reds appeared to be on the brink of a Carabao Cup exit when they trailed Leicester City 3-1 at half-time courtesy of Jamie Vardy’s brace and a stunning strike from James Maddison.
However, it was the introduction of Jota at the break that really allowed the Merseyside club to build on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first-half strike to pull the game out of the fire.
In the 68th minute, Jota halved the deficit to just a single goal with a fine left-footed finish past Kasper Schmeichel having been slipped into the penalty area by Takumi Minamino’s pass.
And with Liverpool chasing an equaliser in the dying embers of injury time, the Japan international turned from creator to goalscorer with an emphatic strike to take the game all the way to penalties.
At that point, Jota must have thought that his night was done because he wasn’t chosen as one of the first five penalty takers as Leicester and Liverpool slugged it out for a place in the semi-finals.
However, with Minamino spurning the chance to send the Reds into the final four by missing the target with his decisive penalty, Jota had to stand up and be counted as Liverpool’s sixth taker.
But with his job having been made far easier by Ryan Bertrand’s miss, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man had the chance to do what Minamino had failed to by securing the win for Liverpool.
Well, you know the rest of the story because Jota dispatched the penalty with ease and sparked wild celebrations around Anfield.
And while we’ll get stuck into the overall scenes of jubilation and ecstasy shortly, we wanted to direct your attention to Jota’s immediate reaction to winning the game in front of the Leicester fans.
That’s because many Liverpool fans think that the 25-year-old did his best Jamie Vardy impression by winding up the visiting fans with a few cheeky hand shimmies and one big fist pump.
Vardy is, after all, renowned for his own celebrations in front of away fans whether it’s slide-tackling corner flags or impersonating wolves, eagles and everything in between.
And with the newly-gutted Leicester faithful sitting just a few metres away from Jota, who chose not to immediately embrace Caoimhin Kelleher and his Reds teammates, it certainly seems like he followed suit.
As such, be sure to check out viral footage of the moment that Jota went full Vardy down below:
And then get your full fix of the post-penalty celebrations by watching the carnage unfold after Jota let the Leicester fans know who had come out on top:
One fan amusingly tweeted: “Jota immediately giving it to their fans, give him the captaincy.”
Another supporter remarked: “Jota rubbing it in the face of Leicester fans was the best part of the game lol.”
A third onlooker posted: “Jota giving it the Leicester fans was the highlight of the whole game hahahahaha what a player.”
While another fan joked: “Look at Jota giving it to the Leicester fans. I was excited when we signed him but I didn’t think I’d end up loving him more than most of my immediate family.”
And a fifth supporter glowed: “Absolutely loved Jota giving it the Leicester fans after scoring his pen… love him.”
If it’s the goals and stellar performances that make Liverpool fans like Jota, then it’s the flashes of passion and potentially s***housery that make Kopites love him to bits.
Eyebrows might have been raised when Liverpool splashed out £41 million for his services last year, but it’s fair to say that he’s made that price look like a bargain with 25 goals for the club already.
And given the glorious form that we’ve seen from him this season, it felt so right that he would score the winning penalty and get to rub it in Leicester fans’ faces for good measure. Brilliant stuff.
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