In the storied history of Liverpool Football Club, there are few “where were you?” moments more memorable or iconic than “Corner taken quickly...ORIGIIII!!!”
It was the culmination of 180 minutes of football, where fans on both sides experienced the lowest of lows and highest of highs. Liverpool felt unlucky not to get anything out of the first leg, and Barcelona definitely felt the same in the second.
From a Liverpool perspective, there wasn’t much hope of going through prior to kickoff. Without the tireless and clever Roberto Firmino or the quick and devastating Mohamed Salah, the Reds were left without two of their three biggest goal threats. But there was always the belief that at Anfield, Liverpool could get something out of the game, even if it was just for pride at this point.
Of course, fandom is inherently irrational. In the back of our heads, we hoped. We hoped for an early goal. Just enough to put Barcelona under pressure. And if we could put Barca under pressure...maybe. Just maybe. The unspeakable could happen.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
That man? Divock Origi. He was written off in France at 19, named to the “worst XI” of the season before joining Liverpool. His career in Red was full of stops and starts. A good run in the Europa League during Klopp’s first season was cut short by a vicious Evertonian tackle. He was shipped off to Germany on loan. Klopp tried to sell him in the summer. But he stuck around. He kept working. And ultimately, as the season wore on, he repaid the manager’s faith in spades. An unforgettable last-gasp winner against Everton. A late winner against Newcastle. Throughout the season, Origi showed an ability to keep his head and be in the right positions when things get a bit mad.
And things were about to get as mad as they ever have been under the lights at Anfield.
Origi started the scoring, with a striker’s instinct to be in the right place at the right time. He followed Jordan Henderson’s shot in, and was perfectly placed to slot the rebound. 1-0 to Liverpool with just 7 minutes played. Game on.
Of course, he wasn’t finished. Nor were the rest of the Reds.
Georginio Wijnaldum came on in the second half after the Reds suffered yet another devastating injury, this time to Andy Robertson. No matter, the Dutchman had a point to prove. And he proved it. Two goals in three minutes, and suddenly the two sides were on level terms.
We know what happened next.
Trent Alexander-Arnold places the ball for a corner kick, and starts to walk away for Xherdan Shaqiri to take it. But then he sees it. Opportunity. Origi, unmarked in front of goal, while all the Barcelona players are turned away, trying to get organized.
Corner taken quickly.
Barcelona players, led by Luis Suarez appealed for something. That couldn’t be legal! Could it be? Of course it was.
Trent’s brilliant quick-thinking to take advantage of Barcelona turning off, combined with Origi’s exceptional first-time finish under pressure sunk the visitors. It completed the biggest comeback in Champions League semifinal history. It was a moment, more than either of the goals in the final itself, which will rightfully be remembered as the reason why Liverpool lifted #6.
Happy Corner Taken Quickly Day to Liverpool fans everywhere. Stay safe.