Liverpool striker Divock Origi has revealed the advice that Jurgen Klopp gave him prior to his surprise start against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday evening.
The 20-year-old was picked ahead of Daniel Sturridge for the Europa League quarter-final tie and took just 36 minutes to justify his place in the starting XI. Origi gave Liverpool the lead with a composed finish, but it was his industrious, hard-working performance throughout the 90 minutes that eventually drew the plaudits.
Surprisingly, the Belgian striker admitted that he only found out he was starting when he saw the teamsheet even though several British newspapers had reported the information earlier in the day.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
On starting, Origi told reporters: “We were playing a big team and as the striker, I had a big responsibility but I felt the support of everybody from the coach to my teammates and the fans.
“Everyone tried to help me as much as possible and it showed in my performance. I only knew [I was starting] when I saw the teamsheet, which was today. I was happy to play in such an important game, which is what you strive for as a footballer.”
With so much experience in front of the daunting Westfalenstadion crowd, you would have thought that Klopp would have had some specific advice for Origi, but the striker has revealed that Klopp's words of wisdom were, well, pretty basic.
“We worked a lot tactically, and he knows my qualities and told me just to use them," he continued. "Everyone said I should play to my qualities, which is getting in behind the defenders and taking them on one-on-one and of course, importantly, scoring. I’m very happy that I could do this.”
Origi's shot came after connecting with James Milner's flick on from Alberto Moreno's cross. Holding off the defender well, the striker then shot to Roman Weidenfeller's left and watched as the ball trickled in.
Describing the moment he scored, Origi said: “I saw Millie going for a header and I read his game a little bit and went deep and the ball came to me.
“I could feel the defender was close and usually they open their legs, so I tried to shoot it the other side and it went in.”
However, it was not a perfect evening for Origi; he also missed a one-on-one against Weidenfeller and was also partially blamed for Mats Hummels' equaliser. Former Liverpool star and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson was one man pinning the blame on him.
He told BBC 5Live: "As well as Origi did for the goal, he should have done better there. He almost was not quite sure what to do. He needs a few chances to score the goals."