Liverpool kept the pace at top securing late victory in Merseyside derby
Merseyside derby is the most difficult derby in England knowing the fouls committed by the players from both sides. And, it came at a time when Premier League leader Manchester City have taken five points lead over second place Liverpool. Reds really needed a victory to keep the pace at top and they did it in most dramatic fashion. Liverpool secured a late victory thanks to Divock Origi’s 96th minute header.
When situation demands, you always have an unlikely hero. And, Divock Origi was that unlikely hero for Liverpool last night. He was almost forgotten that he’s a Liverpool man spending last season on loan to Wolfsburg and haven’t played for 15 months for Liverpool before he was introduced this season in Champions League game against Red Star Belgrade.
Origi usually never finds his name on Jurgen Klopp’s match day squad list these days, but Klopp knows best how to use his players. He knew exactly where Origi can get his confidence back. It was against Everton that Origi suffered an ankle injury in April 2016, which ruined his career. He was at top then, and after that he was an unnoticed player in the squad.
He missed major tournament for his national side and club wasn’t putting much faith in him. But, he’s only 23 and no one is ready to take a bait on him. Klopp knew he can’t get rid of him, so why not make the most of him. He has won Merseyside derbies for Liverpool in the past, so Klopp gave him another opportunity to shine and he shine again. It’s Origi’s third goal in four Merseyside derby appearances.
Jurgen Klopp goes on to praise Origi in his post match interview. He said as Liverpool Echo reports, “I said it to him, when I went to him on the pitch I had it in my mind. I’ve never forgot it since. Fouls and harsh tackles happen, but in his case it was so obvious that it was a break in his development. At that time, he was outstanding. After that, it took a long time before he felt absolutely nothing.”
“In the Europa League final (against Sevilla in 2016) he was somehow ready but not completely pain free. Then there was a tournament (Euro 2016) when he couldn’t really show up there. It all changed a little bit (for him), you lose confidence and you don’t play from here anymore.”
Klopp added, “When Div played at that time he was an unbelievable threat, he had speed, he was strong, remember the Dortmund game and stuff like that. So it was always in my mind about Div, that night (against Everton). And coming on tonight, he can finish that book and from now on everything will be fine again.”
It tells the story that Divock Origi is welcomed in Jurgen Klopp’s plan once again. He no longer is a forgotten star. He only needs to put some more effort to compete against the likes of Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah.