Origi impresses as Reds dominate AC Milan

Liverpool FC's forward Divock Origi (right) follows through with a score past AC Milan's Gabriel Paletta (left) during the second half of the International Champions Cup at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, USA on July 30.
Liverpool FC's forward Divock Origi (right) follows through with a score past AC Milan's Gabriel Paletta (left) during the second half of the International Champions Cup at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, USA on July 30. PHOTO: EPA

SANTA CLARA (California) • For two years, Divock Origi has been hailed as a future star for Liverpool.

On Saturday, the Belgium international showed that he indeed has the class to shine for the English Premier League football club.

The striker's speed and strength proved difficult for the AC Milan players to handle and his finishing lit up Liverpool's 2-0 win in their International Champions Cup friendly match in California.

Manager Jurgen Klopp had been concerned by the chances Liverpool spurned in warm-up fixtures. It looked like the story would be the same against Milan, as his side dominated the first 45 minutes but had nothing to show for their efforts.

But, some 45 minutes later, the German was beaming and Origi clutching a memento for being named Man of the Match as Liverpool comfortably beat a Milan team who are no longer a force to be reckoned with.

Origi, who cost £10 million (S$17.7 million) when he joined from Lille two years ago, broke the deadlock in the 59th minute, showing good footwork by cutting inside and shooting into the far corner. Fourteen minutes later, Roberto Firmino pounced from six yards.

Origi had another goal ruled out in the 71st minute for offside.

"Everyone knows about the potential of Divock Origi, " Klopp said after the game.

"I understand why you ask about Divock after a game like this but tonight wasn't a night to talk about single players.

"We should talk about the way we played and the dominance we had - the passing situations we had in the first half were brilliant.

"We passed and passed until we were through. We created chances but didn't score. We lost a bit of patience and chose the wrong ways with too many long balls. But then we scored some wonderful goals and had more chances."

Liverpool were on top in the first half, new signing Sadio Mane seeing plenty of the ball and almost setting up Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge with crosses.

Striker Sturridge also had a shot blocked before the break, while England team-mate Adam Lallana shot over.

"Gini Wijnaldum did really well in his first game. Ragnar Klavan and Sadio Mane did really well. There were good signs," Klopp added.

"I said before I was really happy about the opponent because Italian teams are always well organised and make problems for you. It's not easy to play them."

The Reds take on Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday, before opening their Premier League campaign at Arsenal on Aug 14.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2016, with the headline 'Origi impresses as Reds dominate AC Milan'. Print Edition | Subscribe