Klopp delighted with confident Origi

LONDON • Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes Divock Origi is at the start of something special after he scored twice in a 4-1 win over Stoke City at Anfield.

Just days earlier, the Belgian grabbed a precious away goal against Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund as the first leg of Liverpool's Europa League quarter-final ended all square at 1-1.

The 20-year-old was then named on the bench for Sunday's Premier League match at home to Stoke. Origi replaced Sheyi Ojo at half-time and less than five minutes later he had scored, nodding home James Milner's cross at the far post.

He then rounded off the scoring with a cross-cum-shot which went directly into the net.

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

Klopp, though, believes Origi will go from strength to strength.

"He is on a good way, it is a good base and now we have to work together," said the German.

"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. Now the most important thing for him is to stay fit."

Klopp was especially pleased by the manner of Origi's double against Stoke.

"The first goal, quick in mind, short corner and then what a cross, what a header," he said. "The second goal is only possible with confidence, he really wanted to shoot, it wasn't a cross."

Alberto Moreno put Liverpool ahead after poor defensive play by Stoke, before Bojan Krkic equalised with the Potters' first league goal at Anfield since 1983.

Daniel Sturridge headed home to restore Liverpool's lead before Origi's double intervention after the break.

Frustrated Stoke manager Mark Hughes acknowledged his side, pushed down into ninth place by Liverpool, needed to improve defensively if they were to qualify for the Europa League.

"You need a complete defensive performance and not just a back five with the 'keeper," he said.

"It's midfield, it's wide guys making sure they do their jobs and front men as well, so defensively you have to do a complete job and we didn't do it."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Klopp delighted with confident Origi'. Print Edition | Subscribe