Divock Origi, the cult hero.
By Musaab Samadi
Liverpool 1-0 Everton (2018)
Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool (2019)
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (2019)
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham (2019)
Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal (2019)
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool (2021)
What do these results have in common? They were all been rounded off by an important Divock Origi strike. All huge matches and all punctuated by the Belgian centre forward.
Origi has been much maligned in many quarters outside of Anfield but he remains a cult hero for the Reds with a status that continues to grow year-on-year.
"Divock Origi" by PAULROBINSON1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
The 26-year-old may not have the speed and skillset of Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mané, and he doesn’t have the link play associated with Roberto Firmino, indeed, he never hit the ground running like Diogo Jota.
But with 39 goals in 166 appearances for Liverpool he has managed to hit the back of the net when it really mattered and his match-winner at Molineux last Saturday only emphasised his cult hero status.
Origi arrived on Merseyside from Lille in 2014 and was subsequently sent back out on loan to the French outfit where he scored eight goals in 33 games.
He spent another season on loan, this time in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, where he scored six goals in 31 appearances.
But even after arriving back in Liverpool following a second stint away, he continued to find it difficult to maintain a regular place in the starting 11 and bang in the goals.
His most memorable contributions have all come in recent years where he rose to prominence and established himself as a Liverpool great.
On 2 December 2018, Origi won over the hearts and minds of the Liverpool faithful for the first time in victory over arch-rivals Everton. It was the most unlikely of stories when the Belgian popped up for his first goal since May 2017.
Virgil van Dijk looked to have wasted a late opportunity when he ballooned his shot and it was heading over Jordan Pickford’s crossbar. But the English No 1 inexplicably clawed it back into play and Origi headed home.
The events that night set in play a remarkable chain of events where Origi continues to pop up in the right place at the right time in crucial Liverpool games.
Liverpool were drawing 2-2 with Newcastle United at St James’ Park on 4 May 2019 after Solomon Rondon’s equaliser. But Xherdan Shaqiri’s in-swinging free-kick was nodded in by Origi in the 86th minute.
One of Liverpool’s greatest ever comebacks was also accompanied an Origi winner. When Liverpool lost 3-0 to Barcelona at Camp Nou in their Champions League semi-final they looked to be on their way out. But Origi scored twice in the return fixture including a deft touch from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick corner for the decider.
Origi was also on target in the Champions League final that year. He scored the second goal late on after Salah had given Liverpool the lead. That killed off Tottenham’s challenge and secured a sixth European Cup for the Reds.
It may not have meant as much but Origi was back among the goal and drama, when he scored in the 94th of the Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal at Anfield. The game eventually went to penalties with the hosts coming up trumps.
And most recently, Origi scored the winner in 94th minute again when Salah provided the assist and he finished past Wolves goalkeeper José Sá.
“I think that ties in with the values of the club - keep believing, keep going,” said Origi.
“Getting that win, getting that goal is the best feeling and it keeps us also going with the momentum.”