Divock Origi reflected on the “special moment” that saw him emerge from the wilderness to score a last-minute winner in the Merseyside derby.
Origi was a key player under Jurgen Klopp in his first two seasons at Liverpool, but then spent the 2017/18 campaign with a frustrating loan at Wolfsburg.
That seemed to spell the end of the Belgian’s career at Anfield, but since turning down a move to Wolves in the summer he has been given a handful of chances from the bench.
One of those came in the final stages on Sunday, and after hitting the post soon after his introduction, Origi then went one better as Jordan Pickford fumbled Virgil van Dijk‘s hopeless volley.
On hand to head home his third derby goal in four appearances, and his first for the club since the 4-0 win at West Ham in May 2017, he became Liverpool’s unlikely hero.
“It’s a special moment, I’m just enjoying the moment,” he told Sky Sports after the game.
“It’s special for the club and the city, and I’m very happy for then.
“It’s just instinct. The first chance I had I knew there would be balls like this, open balls.
“I just tried to be sharp, and in the end Virg gave me a nice assist!”
Having been widely expected to leave the Reds in the summer, Origi is now ahead of Dominic Solanke in the pecking order, and he touched upon his difficult route back into the side.
“I just believed in myself. It wasn’t easy,” he added.
“I just try to enjoy the game, whenever I come in I try to help the team, and I’m happy I could do it in this way today.”
The significance of the goal to his No. 27 didn’t elude Klopp, who couldn’t hide his emotions as he ran onto the pitch to celebrate with Alisson after Origi’s winner.
“It’s such a nice story that Divock Origi could score that goal,” he said.
“[After a] horrible injury in another game [against Everton in 2016], it was a big break in his career.
“Now he’s back fully fit and he can finish that game.
“For me, the situation [seemed] finished when the ball left [Van Dijk’s] foot, then I saw it was spinning and it was a really unthankful ball for the goalie.
“It was luck that Divock was exactly there.”
Klopp revealed that he apologised to Everton manager Marco Silva after the game for his role in the celebrations before the final whistle, saying “I didn’t want to be disrespectful.”
He is likely to face repercussions from the FA, but Klopp was more focused on the quality of football on show from both teams—and a fitting result for Liverpool.
“That’s not the story of the game, it was the last situation of the game pretty much,” he explained.
“Both teams gave an unbelievable fight, the clearest fight since we’ve played Everton.
“Today both teams tried to really play football; no harsh things. It was the game I expected.”