By Karolina Kurek
The following is a guest article by the aforementioned author and is not necessarily representative of opinions held by anyone at Empire of the Kop…
Divock Origi is the player Anfield’s crowd will remember forever.
It’s not only his ability to find the back of the net that will be appreciated but the fashion and timing in which he executed it.
Now, the Belgian has taken his tally to 11 goals scored after coming on from the bench. Calm as you like.
In the past, L4’s supporters were gifted with seeing heroes who emerged from the bench to write their names into Anfield history.
David Fairclough was one of a kind and his feat is engraved in one of the stones that are located outside the stadium.
In life after football, he is still strongly connected with his maiden club; his role involves being an ambassador during meetings with fans, a stadium guide and pundit.
The former Red was hailed as a supersub, as he recorded 18 goals in 62 substitute appearances.
Despite the fact that he hardly ever started in the first XI line-up, Fairclough cemented his place in Anfield folklore with his heroics against Saint-Etienne.
That Tuesday night
Liverpool were gasping for a miracle against Barcelona in the second leg of the semi-finals in the 2018/19 season. The first encounter between both teams brought a 3-0 victory for the Catalan giants.
In fact, that night Liverpool were the dominant force at Camp Nou. However, their powerlessness in front of the goal made Liverpool be on the wrong end of the result.
Barcelona’s three goal advantage was impressive and at the same time tough to turn over.
However, with the help of the 12th man in the shape of Anfield’s crowd, anything seemed to be possible.
The second leg of that semi-final was about to go underway; Anfield under the floodlights was electric and packed full with believers.
That was Divock’s night. Having deputised for Firmino from the very first whistle, he had the world at his feet.
The team needed to come back from 3-0 down to get through to the final and Origi bagged the first goal after seven minutes.
Gini Wijnaldum added a brace in the second-half but the Reds were in need of another to go through.
With 11 minutes to go, Trent Alexander Arnold and Divock Origi did the impossible.
The fullback provided a quickly-taken corner for the No.27 who scored the decisive effort and cemented his cult hero status.
Game-changing moments straight from the bench
Origi has never cemented his place in Liverpool’s first-XI. Instead, he has made 106 appearances out of 174 as a substitute player.
However, there were groundbreaking moments featuring the Belgian international that we should be inclined to remember forever.
It’s vital to note that the goals mentioned below were selected on the basis of magnitude and the attacker’s performance from the bench.
13 DEC 2015 – Liverpool v West Brom. Hectic fixtures were approaching for new manager Jurgen Klopp. It was 90+6 minutes on the clock when Divock Origi found the equaliser and delivered a vital point for The Reds.
2 DEC 2018 – Liverpool v Everton. Christmas was in the air with LFC supporters singing “Merry Christmas Everton” at home. You could sense something would have happened with Origi’s previous record against the Toffies.
The derby match went into the injury-time, Jordan Pickford’s serious error led to Divock’s headed goal from close-range meaning he sealed a 1-0 win for Liverpool.
4 MAY 2019 Newcastle v Liverpool. The Reds were chasing the Premier League title and were in need of three points in every remaining game. A 2-2 result was seen on the scoreboard and it was Origi who became a hero with 86 minutes gone on the clock.
4 DEC 2021 – Wolves v Liverpool. Regular game time was over. Origi replaced Jordan Henderson in the second-half and again stole the show with the injury-time winner.
The arrival, understanding with teammates and the instant impact of Diogo Jota meant a reduction of game time for Origi in the 2020/2021 season.
One thing will never change, Divock will be a Liverpool legend whether he stays leave.
Should Divock decide to opt for a change of scenery this summer, he ought to bring some quality to a new team and be a success.
Jurgen Klopp hailed him a world-class player after a match against Everton when he scored during a 2-0 win for the Reds.
In the post-match conference, the German coach gave him credit by saying: “He is a legend on and off the pitch. He is a fantastic footballer for me, and I know it sounds ridiculous as I don’t line him up often.”
“He is a world-class striker, he is our best finisher definitely. He always was and everybody would say the same when you see him do these kind of things in training.”
It looks likely he will bid the club from Merseyside goodbye in the upcoming summer window. Be that as it may, he will remain one of the most respectedd and fondly remembered players among Anfield’s crowd.