How many times have you rewatched the Barcelona game? Or the highlights? Or the post match reactions? A lot, right? That game will probably go down in the LFC history books, the greatest ever Anfield comeback. Due largely in part to Divock Origi, with his brilliant tap in from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner. We’ve all heard the story of how Liverpool exploited Barcelona’s laziness during set pieces to deliver the tie breaking blow, but Origi spoke recently to the club website of the work it took for him to get to that moment.
“Funnily enough, I had that shot a couple of times in training, I practised the shot, the side of the net from the angle. It wasn’t bouncing, it was just a ball in,” Origi said to the club website this week from the training camp in Marbella. The team are currently enjoying six-a-side tournaments and sunshine in preparation for the Champions League final in Madrid next weekend.
“But I think subconsciously, when the ball came, it helped me – I had more confidence because I knew I’d practised that shot. But, of course, in 10 [attempts] the chances are you can put it over or even in the middle of the goal.
“It was a very difficult finish because my back was turned to the ball. I was still looking and in the corner of my eye I saw Trent making a movement.
“I had to readjust quickly, turn my body 180 degrees and then try to put it into the side of the net. It was a hard movement with a bouncing ball as well, but luckily it went in so I’m happy.”
No one could forget that it was Origi himself that started the Reds’ comeback that evening by scoring in the seventh minute, giving everyone hope that we truly could get through this match, despite the 3-0 aggregate looming over our heads. Fighting back against that looming conclusion is what Origi, and the rest of the team it seemed, was striving for.
“It’s important to always fight, regardless of what happens,” said the Belgian. “We had difficult moments in the season, at key moments, and we pushed through.
“Sometimes the difference in quality is not that big and then you have to make the difference by working hard, with your focus and hunger, working together. That’s what makes us strong as a team – we are all together and we have one plan for us all.”
Things hadn’t really gone to plan for Origi when the season started, having come back after a wishy washy loan spell and looking to make his place in the team once again. Putting in a shift during training turned the boss’ eye and that late winning goal in the Merseyside Derby (you know the one) helped open the door a bit more for Origi, but it was never just about him.
“My job was to shine my light and enjoy my game,” he said of rejoining the team. “I’m somebody who loves the game, is passionate about the game and loves to express himself in the game. Whenever I do that, good things happen.
“Trying to help the team as much as possible. I knew it was going to be an important season for the club, and for me as well, and I just wanted to make that next step.
“When I came back – obviously I was away for a year – I saw the group had made another step. We recruited some top players and I felt like we had a lot of quality, and experience as well. We were a bit older. I knew it was going to be a special season.”
Now it’s onto Madrid and the devil we know. Liverpool have played Tottenham twice already this year, and won twice, although it has been a hard battle both times. For all the confidence that Liverpool has going into this, as the favorites and everything, Tottenham have well-earned confidence as well.
“They have a super team,” Origi continued. “We played against them a couple of times and we know they have danger from all angles, which makes the game so beautiful. It’s going to be a special game for us.
“We have a lot of respect for them but we also know we have a very good team. We have big qualities and, above everything, we’ll play with a big heart.
“It will be a mountain to climb for us – but a good mountain. With preparation and training, we’ll feel confident for the game.”
He’s hoping to make one more magical Origi moment this season, though.