A delighted Divock Origi revelled in his supersub role and saluted Liverpool’s “fighting spirit” after forcing the winner in a five-goal thriller against Newcastle United.
Origi stepped off the bench in the second half and got a crucial touch to Xherdan Shaqiri’s 86th-minute free-kick to secure the Reds a rollercoaster 3-2 victory that lifts them back to the Premier League summit.
The Belgium international, scorer of a last-gasp goal in the Merseyside derby in December, only entered the fray after Mohamed Salah was taken off on a stretcher following a collision with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Origi suggested the loss of their star forward gave the Reds an extra shot of motivation as they salvaged three precious points despite twice letting the lead slip at St James’ Park.
“I’m happy I’m scoring late, late, late winners and happy for the team,” said Origi.
“We work so hard and it’s a crucial part of the season.
“Also for Mo, who went off at the end, we felt like we had to fight for the three points. In the end we showed our fighting spirit.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 4, 2019
“There’s a lot of emotion but we have to control it. It’s very exciting. It’s a special season and we have done very well, but we want to finish it off in style.
“Let’s see how the remaining games go – we’ll do everything to win everything and hopefully comes out our way.”
Virgil van Dijk and Salah had netted to give a Liverpool a 2-1 half-time lead, before Salomon Rondon grabbed Newcastle’s second equaliser.
Christian Atsu provided the first in controversial circumstances in the 20th minute, the attacker bundling home the loose ball after Trent Alexander-Arnold handled Rondon’s initial close-range effort.
UP THE REDS! pic.twitter.com/15EbUPOrx7
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 4, 2019
Referee Andre Marriner awarded the goal and opted against sanctioning the Liverpool right-back amid appeals for a red card.
“The ball obviously came at me quite quick and it was very instinctive,” Alexander-Arnold said of the incident.
“My arm didn’t really fly out and attack the ball, it stayed near my side.
“If you look back on the lead-up to their second goal there was probably a foul on me on the halfway line where I got tripped up, but obviously that didn’t get seen. It probably worked out even at the of the day.”
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