Divock Origi has said he always remained confident he could have an impact in Liverpool’s season after scoring the injury-time winner in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
Origi made just his second appearance of the season when he replaced Roberto Firmino in the 84th minute against Everton at Anfield.
Deep into stoppage time, the striker was on hand to nod in after Virgil van Dijk’s miss-hit shot to give Liverpool a dramatic 1-0 victory over their fierce rivals.
“It’s a special moment,” Origi told Sky Sports. “I think I’m enjoying the moment. I think it’s special for the club, for the city so I’m very happy for that.
“It’s just instinct. The first chance I had, I knew there was going to be some balls like this in the 16. I just tried to be sharp and, in the end, Virg [van Dijk] gave a nice assist and I could head it in. I’m happy.
“I think I just believed in myself. In football those moments make you stronger. For me, I just tried to enjoy the game.
“Whenever I come in, I always said I try to help the team and I’m happy that we could do it in this way today.”
The win ensures the gap between Liverpool and Premier League leaders Manchester City remains at two points.
Origi turned out to be the unlikely hero, having struggled to fully recover from a serious ankle injury sustained against Everton in April 2016.
“I had it in my mind,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of the tackle from Ramiro Funes Mori that stunted Origi’s progress. “We never forgot it since them.
“Fouls happen and harsh tackles happen. In his case it was so obvious that it was a break in his development. Because at that time he was outstanding.
“After that he needed a long time until he felt nothing. In the Europa League final he was somehow ready, but not completely pain-free. I think there was a tournament, so he couldn’t really show up there.
“That all changed a little bit and you lose confidence and you don’t play from here any more. At that time, he was an unbelievable threat — speed, physically strong, remember the [Borussia] Dortmund game?
“Coming on tonight, now he can finish the book. From now on, everything will be fine again.”