Premier League title-chasers Liverpool were heading towards a goalless stalemate on the road at Wolves until the 94th minute when ‘cult hero’ and super-sub Divock Origi earned all three points.
It wasn’t the first time Origi came off the bench to make a difference in a Reds jersey. In fact, among the 401 players to have registered at least 20 goals in English football’s top division since 1992 only Victor Anichebe (13/26, 50%) has scored a higher percentage of those as a substitute than Liverpool’s ‘number 27’ (10/21, 48%).
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There were immediate thoughts of previous escapades, most notably a very late Merseyside derby winner in December 2018. This also happens to be one of 13 game-winning goals struck by Liverpool in the 90th minute or late under Jurgen Klopp’s leadership, which is four more than any other Premier League team following his arrival.
Klopp naturally was full of relief at full-time and he couldn’t help but praise the match-winner. “Divock Origi, the legend, finished it off and it’s a great story,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’s an incredible striker, for different reasons he did not play that often but I hope one day he finds a manager that plays him more than I do.
“He’s one of the best finishers I’ve ever seen in my life. In this great team, with our [front] three, he doesn’t play all the time but he is a very positive boy, loves the club, wants to contribute and he did it in an incredible way.”
"?? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??????." ? pic.twitter.com/oXgi72fhtP
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 4, 2021
Naturally emotions were high as referee Chris Kavanagh brought the game to an end. Chelsea suffered a 3-2 loss at London rivals West Ham earlier in the day, so Liverpool subsequently leapfrogged Thomas Tuchel’s men and took leadership of the Premier League (this would be temporary, as Manchester City beat a struggling Watford later on).
Klopp’s glee was only matched across social media, and even fans of rival clubs paid homage to Origi:
Klopp using Origi off the bench to snatch a late winner in December is it? pic.twitter.com/msG9XGqv97
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) December 4, 2021
Origi later revealed the advice given to him by Klopp as he emerged from the substitutes’ bench.
Divock Origi has just told one interviewer that Jurgen Klopp simply told him to "go out and be Divock" before sending him on at Molineux. Job done, I'd say.
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) December 4, 2021
Rumours have linked Origi with a Liverpool exit over recent transfer windows, especially since the arrival of Diogo Jota. Moments like these left Reds fans glad nothing has come of them.
One more to add to the Origi carry job collection ??pic.twitter.com/zA36DKjhPO
— – (@HeadieTw0) December 4, 2021