Jota fires in Liverpool's second shortly before the break

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Diogo Jota is starting to resemble Luis Suarez in a Liverpool shirt. Perhaps without the extra bite. 

Mercifully, Jota’s hunger so far is limited to his appetite for goals rather than the anatomy of opponents.

Whenever a new signing hits the ground sprinting, there is a natural tendency to make prematurely exuberant comparisons with illustrious predecessors.

At times, Jota carries echoes of the skills of his contemporaries, with the pace of Mohamed Salah, trickery of Sadio Mane and work-rate of Roberto Firmino.

Yet after his landmark Anfield goal to underline the champions’ gulf in class with Leicester City,  it occurred that Jota is the closest Liverpool have had to Suarez since the Uruguayan left for Barcelona.

Temperament wise, the similarity may not stretch. In every other aspect Jota has the same profile. As an attacking force, there is no obvious weakness as Leicester’s hitherto impressive centre-backs were left looking broken by the experience of trying and failing to stop him. 

Each of Jota’s goals in a Liverpool shirt so far have had a different dimension, ranging from spectacular volleys outside the penalty area, to his historic strike here which underlined his heading prowess.

Diogo Jota scores for the 4⃣th home game in a row 👏

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With this, Jota did what no Liverpool player has done before – not even an extended list of striking gods – by scoring in his first four home top-flight league appearances.

His all-round menace had already caught the eye prior to him doubling Liverpool’s lead in the 3-0 win. If Leicester veteren Christian Fuchs granted himself a sigh of relief at the thought of Salah’s absence, he was gasping for air within ten minutes having twice lost a foot race on Liverpool’s right. Fuchs was put out of his misery when subbed after an hour, probably contemplating retirement rather than face Jota again. 

Perhaps the greatest compliment to Jota – and the reason why even with a packed treatment room Liverpool are still setting the standards – is Jurgen Klopp’s attack did not look compromised without their world class Egyptian. They would have scored five but for the woodwork.

Credit Klopp for making no style concessions despite being without three quarters of his usual back four. He backed his deputies to fit the system, and the senior men available to step up. How they delivered. 

Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing

Joel Matip and Fabinho did not give Jamie Vardy an inch.

Evergreen James Milner showed he can be a playmaker from right-back as much as Trent Alexander-Arnold. It was a shame he had to move back into midfield after another ill-timed injury for Naby Keita.

When Keita added to the injury list early in the second half, those watching on anticipating the champions to slip during this debilitating period must have been asking, ‘if not now, then when?’

Liverpool’s six world-class absentees ensured the preamble for Leicester’s arrival almost made them favourites in some eyes.

Such confident predictions have become a trend before numerous Liverpool games this season, a combination of the extended injury list and inexplicable early loss at Aston Villa.

The fact Liverpool’s win took them level at the top with Tottenham Hotspur made for two conclusions. First, Klopp’s squad depth is underrated. Second, visitors to Anfield are still playing the shirt and badge more than the ball.

Who can blame them? Statistically, this is now the most imperious Liverpool team of all, eclipsing Bob Paisley’s run between 1978-81. Leicester never threatened to repeat the feat of the team which ended Paisley’s run.

Among Bill Shankly’s more memorable quotes spoke about making Anfield a ‘bastion of invincibility’.

Klopp’s Liverpool are 64 games unbeaten at home in the league, and have added a striker as sharp as any in English football.

Injury crisis or not, Liverpool – and Jota – look like they will take some stopping.