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Liverpool’s Diogo Jota bites back at Alan Shearer after being called cheat | Football | Sport

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota has offered a response to Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and the other pundits who labelled him a cheat after a 4-2 win over Newcastle in the Premier League earlier this month. Jota was accused of diving to win a late penalty that Mohamed Salah converted to secure the full three points at Anfield on New Year’s Day.

The Portuguese attacker had rounded Martin Dubravka and with the goal at his mercy, went down to ground inside the area. Newcastle legend Shearer wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “What a great dive that is.” His fellow Match of the Day pundit Wright then posted: “Would rather go down for a penalty than put the ball in an empty net! Seen it all!”

And quoting Wright’s post, Shearer added: “F*****g embarrassing.” The Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer doubled down on The Rest Is Football podcast, saying: “Yeah, he f*****g dived. Pretty simple. That is as clear a dive you will ever see. There was a tiny bit of contact, but he could have just stayed on his feet and tapped it in.”

Newcastle shot-stopper Dubravka however admitted: “I tried to pull my arms and not catch him. I felt the contact but I don’t know what else I should do. In the end it was a penalty, so there’s no point in arguing with them.” Replays showed there was at least some contact on Jota’s left ankle from the keeper’s elbow.

And Jota now insists he did NOT dive – because he’d much rather have added an extra goal to his nine-goal tally. “Listen, of course I saw some comments from ex-players and people who are paid to talk about situations,” he said, referring to Shearer and co.

‌”The only thing I can say is even the keeper said it was a touch – and that I didn’t feel the conditions to stay up. So that’s it. I would rather score a goal. That’s what I like to do – score goals. That’s all I have to say.”

Jota has returned to fitness at the right time for Liverpool who are going strong in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League. And the 27-year-old added: “It’s a lot of games and a lot of hard competitions. But we want it to be like two years ago and not like last year when we didn’t perform the way we wanted to.

‌”It’s exciting times. We are all looking forward to the second half of the season. We made a few new signings and had a fresh start this season. Last year wasn’t normal for Liverpool. This season it’s a lot better.

“We have a refreshed midfield that impacts a lot in the game. We are just having fun playing together. We are still adapting to each other and we will be even stronger, hopefully, in the second half of the season. I feel refreshed.

“It’s always nice to have a few days away, especially at this time of year when it’s very cold here! For me specifically, I don’t think the [winter] break necessarily came at the right time because I was injured during December. But for the team in general it is a necessary break because of all the games we have been playing.

“We’ve basically been playing every three days, which is a lot of games with a lot of intensity in those games. The human body needs this time to recover and then we go again. We know how it works – and it starts Sunday.”

Liverpool face Bournemouth without Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai and Trent Alexander-Arnold and know they can move five points clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit. After City’s comeback win against Newcastle, Jota insists the Reds cannot pay too much attention to their rivals’ results.

The nine-goal No. 20 continued: “We know how strong City are and how strong they can be in the second lap of the league. We just hope we can also be there and be part of the fight again – and hopefully we are above them in the end.

“Obviously we try to win each game and that’s our plan. That’s what we’ll be trying to do against Bournemouth. But we know City are a very strong opponent and that [Kevin] De Bruyne is a world-class player and one of the ones who can make a difference, like he did two years ago when we were in that discussion about the title until the last game.

“But, look, we also have those kinds of players and there is a long way to go until we reach those decisive moments. We just have to focus on the next few months first to try to be there at the end.”

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