Jurgen Klopp hailed Divock Origi for an “outstanding” performance in Liverpool’s 5-2 Merseyside derby win over Everton on Wednesday.
Origi made his first Premier League start since October and took his chance at Anfield, scoring a brilliant brace in the derby win as Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the top-flight to a club-record 32 games.
The Belgium international’s second goal saw him superbly bring down a long pass from Dejan Lovren and his performance earned praise from his manager.
“Outstanding. What a game he played. It was not only the goals but the goals were exceptional,” Klopp told a news conference.
“The first one was a great attack in general – winning the ball, Adam [Lallana] passes to Sadio [Mane], Sadio sees the run, sees his movement and passes that ball in exactly the right moment, one touch and an open goal, great.
“In Germany when I was young one highlight of my week was always goal of the week and goal of the month. When they selected these, that [Origi’s second] would have been 100 per cent in contention. It was just a great first touch and then finishing it off like this.
“Apart from that, incredibly important runs for us, movements, used his speed, looked so natural. That was the most important thing. The understanding with Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] and Sadio was obviously really good. So it was a pretty impressive performance of Div.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 4, 2019
Klopp made five changes to his starting XI for the derby, with Origi, Adrian, Lallana, Shaqiri and James Milner picked to face Everton.
It was Shaqiri’s first start of the season and Klopp apologised to the attacker, while praising Liverpool’s depth.
“Sorry Shaq! He was injured a couple of times,” Klopp said.
“If he could have scored two goals like Divock instead of one, I could say exactly the same [as I said about Origi]. He looked completely fresh, he looked strong, physically strong, so it is important players train after they get injured.
“He had twice this calf thing this season, so there was not a lot to change but I think he has been back in training for two or three weeks now completely normal.
“He understood the situation, that’s how it is in a squad when you win a lot of games, you don’t make 20 changes. It was always clear this period now of the year is where we need all of the boys and I hope they will then be in the shape like Shaq and Div, or Adam.
“It’s really important and gives us the feeling that we can do it more often – and we will do it more often. It was an incredible performance, the set-pieces were outstanding. It was all really good. More to follow!”
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