Oh, Divock Origi
How many times has he done this?
Forget cult hero. Divock Origi, assuming he ends his career with us – and why shouldn’t he? The fans sure love him, and considering his cost, the return on investment with him is downright silly – is establishing himself as Liverpool’s historic bench MVP. Like, throughout the team’s entire existence. The clutchiest. The doomsday weapon. Origi may not be a particularly gifted player, which shows every time Klopp tries to use him for an entire match. But put him in twenty minutes to the end when the team is under intense pressure to break down a highly spirited opponent, and is there another player in this team (or elsewhere) with a bigger killer instinct?
I daresay not.
How does he do it? Is it Origi’s unassuming nature? Does he crack the defenders up with jokes before somehow finding himself with the ball in the danger area? And then he always kinda looks surprised, which to some degree adds to the confusion, but you better believe that by the time he sorts out his shot, it’s very likely going in. Even if he does nothing else – which is not true for this game, but often is – you can’t possibly be mad at him.
All of which was summarized brilliantly by the TV commentator, who at that moment also gave me the perfect title for this column.
I feel for Conor Coady, who I am awarding my man-of-the-match to, even though he didn’t make the cut for us and Wolves lost. Coady played the kind of game that we would call “heroic” had it come from, say, James Milner. To be crushed this way by Origi in Kloppage time has to be a huge punch to the gut. A gut that was already smarting from Diogo Jota’s impossible earlier miss. Seriously, it almost looked like Jota was more interested in taking him out than actually scoring.
Wolves played brilliantly, and yet should have suffered a similar fate to Everton, United, and the rest. It took the Reds a bit of time to figure out how to unlock the game, but once they did, the opportunities came repeatedly. And yet, the almost magical protective aura that has settled around Molineux since the appointment of Bruno Lage seemed to hold true. That is, until Klopp went 4-2-4 with cultist number one.
Gutsy decision, that. One that would have had the fans barking furiously at him had it gone wrong. Instead, he looks the genius.
Beyond all that, Mo didn’t score and Wolves covered him extremely well. That didn’t stop him from delivering the critical assist, continuing to build up his remarkable stat sheet for this season. Traore created many nervy moments, as expected, but didn’t deliver, which happens to him surprisingly often. Matip went on a few of those runs. Thiago snarled all around the pitch while delivering a couple of ridiculous passes, also par for the course. Mane and Jota missed a fair amount. Wolves severed the impressive Liverpool run of games with at least two goals scored.
With the hammers hammerin’ the Blues, with the exact same scoreline they delivered the Reds a few weeks back, things are looking pretty good for the merseysiders. Two more minutes would have changed this outlook fairly dramatically. But that didn’t happen.
Because, you know…