Jurgen Klopp hails super-sub Origi

Liverpool 4 Stoke 1: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Divock Origi has all the attributes to succeed after the young striker came off the bench to score twice in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Stoke at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp hails super-sub Origi

Origi had been on the pitch less than five minutes as a half-time substitute for Sheyi Ojo before he scored his second goal in as many games following his strike in the Europa League quarter-final first leg at Borussia Dortmund last Thursday.

The Belgian had the simple task of nodding home James Milner’s cross at the far post in front of the Kop to give the Reds a two-goal cushion.

His second, a cross from the left that went straight into the net, was fortuitous, but this was perfect preparation for the second leg against Dortmund this Thursday.

Going into the match, Origi had been less than prolific with six goals in 28 games this season, half of those coming with a hat-trick against Southampton in the Capital One Cup.

Klopp, though, is confident Origi is at the start of something special, making his mark after a trying start to his Anfield career. Klopp said: “He is on a good way, he sees it similar, he is on the start, it is a good base and now we have to work together.

“You see what confidence can do. I think Divock said it himself that when he came here everything was different for him, but he is still a very young player. He comes here he knows expectations are really high because he is a highly-rated striker.

“He had a lot of little injuries: when I came here he was not fit. Afterwards, he had one or two small things. Now that is the most important thing for him is to stay fit.

“The last injury he used a little bit of body strength. Everybody can see, I think he had to wear another shirt. The first goal, quick in mind, short corner and then what a cross, what a header. The second goal is only possible with confidence, he really wanted to shoot, it wasn’t a cross.”

It was an emphatic scoreline but one that didn’t reflect a first-half when the teams looked well matched.

Both had chances but were also guilty of some poor play marked by misplaced passes and a lack of composure.

The second-half, though, belonged to Liverpool who also welcomed back Lucas from a thigh injury, the Brazilian replacing Joe Allen for the final 12 minutes in his first appearance since the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City at the end of February.

After an uneventful opening, the Reds went ahead. With the Potters disputing the award of a free-kick, Milner slid the ball to Moreno in space outside the box and he fired a left-footed drive across Jakob Haugaard and into the net for his first goal of the season.

Stoke though drew level in the 22nd minute when Xherdan Shaqiri, back from injury, floated in a free-kick which was met by Bojan who glanced home his seventh of the season.

Sturridge then restored the lead from Sheyi Ojo’s cross when he nodded home at the far post but Origi replaced Ojo at half-time and within five minutes had given the hosts a cushion, with a simple header from Milner’s cross before he rounded off the scoring.

Klopp was delighted with the performance. “Quick in mind, that is what we said before the game we have to be today. That is why we changed the line-up.

“The whole game was good, against a really difficult side to play against. For the second time, they changed their style of play for us. When we played the semi at Stoke the first-half they played football, second half they changed a little bit and when they came here it was a long ball festival.

“Today with the wind and Peter Crouch it was clear it will be difficult. But the big experience of Kolo and Martin ruled it at the end, their big passion in defending ruled it.”

Hughes was frustrated, saying: “The story of the game was our inability to stop balls coming into our box and when they did come into our box we lacked the ability to clear them or defend them correctly.

“4-1 is a little bit hard on us given what we did the first half but we have got to have a full 90-minute performance and we didn’t have that today.

“You need a complete defensive performance and not just the back five with the keeper, it’s midfield, it’s wide guys making sure they do their jobs and front men as well.

We did it in sporadic moments but never really to any great effect. We weren’t as resolute as we normally are. “

LIVERPOOL (4-2-3-1):

Mignolet 7; Clyne 7, Skrtel 7, Toure 7, Moreno 8; Milner 8, Stewart 7; Ojo (Origi ht, 8), Firmino 6 (Lallana 63, 6), Allen 7 (Lucas 78); Sturridge 7.

Subs:

Ward, Lovren, Coutinho, Smith.

STOKE: (4-2-3-1):

Haugaard 5; Bardsley 7, Shawcross 6, Wollscheid 5, Pieters 5 (Muniesa 82); Imbula 6, Cameron 6; Shaqiri 7 (Diouf 71), Afellay 5, Bojan 5 (Joselu, 71); Crouch 6.

Subs:

Given, Ireland, Adam, Teixeira.

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