Discarded Origi is now a symbol of Liverpool’s penchant for the improbable

first_img0Shares0000Divock Origi scored a late winner for Liverpool against EvertonLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, May 8 – Divock Origi, only playing in place of injured Firmino, upstaged lauded team-mates as well as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to become Liverpool’s unlikely hero for the second time in three days as his double sent the Reds to the UEFA Champions League final.It felt rather fitting that, on a bewildering night that stretched the boundaries of the believable, neither Lionel Messi nor Luis Suarez settled the Uefa Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Barcelona. Or Sadio Mane. Or Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino.Or, for that matter, Philippe Coutinho, back at the club who little more than 12 months before pushed Barcelona to part with £142 million (Dh680m) to ferry him to Camp Nou.Origi runs over to celebrates with Arnold after scoring the fourth goal to put Liverpool in the lead on aggregateNo, on a bewildering night at Anfield, the sort of night even Jurgen Klopp conceded bordered on the impossible, Divock Origi struck the decisive blow.To all intents and purposes, he should not really have been starting. Salah was out injured, Firmino too. With options limited, Origi was preferred to Daniel Sturridge, presumably because Daniel Sturridge doesn’t really feel like Daniel Sturridge any more.Conceivably, Origi should not really have been at Liverpool. The Belgian spent last season in the Bundesliga, on loan at Wolfsburg.The season before, he was limited predominantly to starts in the cup competitions, scoring away at Burton Albion and Derby County, at home to Leeds United. He started 14 games in the Premier League.Last summer, Liverpool tried to offload him. A return to Germany was mooted, this time in a permanent deal. Or perhaps back to France, to the same division from which Liverpool lifted him, in 2014, from Lille for £10m. Then age 19, he joined on a lengthy, five-year contract.Divock Origi heads the winner against Newcastle to lift Liverpool back to the top of the Premier LeagueSince then, Origi has spent two full campaigns on loan. He has played 62 matches for Liverpool in the Premier League, 24 times from the start.Yet on Tuesday night, Divock Origi helped make the seemingly impossible possible. He scored on seven minutes, as Liverpool snatched the early goal they craved, seizing back some semblance that they could actually clamber above the 3-0 defeat in last week’s first leg, against arguably the greatest player of all-time and undeniably one of the game’s great clubs.That they could become only the fourth team to turn around a three-goal deficit in a Champions League knockout tie. Previous to that, Origi had never before scored in the competition.Suddenly imbued with belief, Liverpool levelled the tie early in the second half, once more not through Mane, Salah or Firmino. But through Georginio Wijnaldum. Even then, he had not found the net before in the Champions League.But, with 11 minutes remaining, Origi settled it, sending Liverpool into a ninth European Cup final. He latched on to the latest of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s assists – the most remarkable of his 15 this season – and directed the ball high into the Barcelona goal.Liverpool’s Divock Origi is tackled by Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin during their English Premier League match at Goodison Park on March 3, 2019.Amid the bedlam, Liverpool’s unlikely lad had displayed his penchant for the improbable. Against Everton in December, when the derby had creaked long past 90 minutes and with Jordan Pickford providing a mighty helping hand, Origi grabbed the winner.On Saturday, he entered the must-win encounter against Newcastle United only after Salah had been stretchered off, but departed as the guy who headed home the winning goal. Again late, again keeping alive Liverpool’s quest for a first top-flight title in 29 years.Then on Tuesday, Origi bookended a compelling and confounding semi-final second leg, lifting his European tally for Liverpool to four goals. He has a double against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-finals; now, a brace in the most memorable of clashes with Barcelona.In the space of three dizzying days, Divock Origi has sustained Liverpool’s twin assault on their two most-coveted prizes. Which, when the curtain came down on a bewildering night along the banks of the Mersey, after Anfield grew hoarse as the players and their people chorused their famous old tune, felt rather fitting.-By The National-0Shares0000(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more