90min
Liverpool

The night Divock Origi capped Liverpool's miracle Barcelona comeback

Robbie Copeland
ORIGIIIIIIIIIII
ORIGIIIIIIIIIII / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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"They think it's all over...it is now!"

“Remember the name! Wayne Rooney!”

"Balotelli....AGUEROOOOOOOO! I swear you'll never see anything like this ever again!"

Every generation of football fans bears witness to at least one moment so iconic and defining that it can be recognised from commentary alone.

Was anyone prepared for one of those to arise when Liverpool took on Barcelona at Anfield in 2019? Absolutely not.

Heading into the Champions League semi-final second leg, Liverpool were at a low. The fate of the Premier League title had just been cruelly ripped out of their hands by a Vincent Kompany screamer against Leicester. A 3-0 defeat against Barcelona in the first leg - courtesy of a Lionel Messi masterclass - meant they were staring down the barrel of another trophyless season.

That would surely have made grim reading for Jurgen Klopp, who was facing serious questions about his ability to actually win anything after five years without a trophy.

Liverpool were holding out for a hero, Bonnie Tyler style. And then along came Divock Origi.

Darren Fletcher, who was in the commentary booth for BT Sport that night, said he sensed something in the air before a ball was even kicked. So when Jordan Henderson's effort was parried out by Marc-Andre ter Stegen and bundled home by Origi, you can imagine what the Anfield atmosphere was like.

A makeshift Reds team with Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri taking the places of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were given little chance of a miracle, but they smelled blood after the opening goal.

Barcelona clung on for as long as they could, but Georginio Wijnaldum's half-time introduction injected even more intensity into the Liverpool performance. Fire and brimstone rained down on the hapless Spanish champions, and within ten minutes of the restart, Liverpool were level on aggregate.

The image of 5'8 Wijnaldum towering over Gerard Pique to power in the equaliser summed up Liverpool's desire to win it, and the pale expressions on Barcelona faces told the story of a team who had no answer to what they were facing. But the best was yet to come.

"Wijnaldum! OH IT'S THREE! Liverpool are all the way back!"

Darren Fletcher after Wijnaldum's second

Only Origi was switched on to what Trent Alexander-Arnold was about to do as the clock approached the 80th minute. Liverpool won a corner, and Shaqiri's move towards the ball - as if to take it - caused Barcelona to switch off.

None of them were even looking when Alexander-Arnold quickly shuffled back over and whipped it into the feet of Origi.

And they were all staring helplessly when the Belgian executed a wonderful first-time finish that set off an earthquake on the Kop.

Origi's celebration, with the casual nonchalance of someone who had just found his favourite flavour of milkshake in the dairy section at Tesco, only added to the iconic nature of the scenes that followed.

Messi's face in the moments after wasn't even disbelieving. He was resigned, because he'd seen it coming from the moment Origi tucked in the opener 72 minutes earlier.

Whether you believe that magic was in the air at Anfield or not, Liverpool went into it believing in a miracle. It was that self-belief that set them up for everything that followed: the resulting final in Madrid, the eventual, exhausting Premier League title win and all the glory in between.

None of it would have come to pass without a moment of ingenuity from Alexander-Arnold and an instinctive finish from Origi. It's a moment, and a game, that won't be forgotten for a long, long time.

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