Arnold Origi, son to former Kenya national team, Harambee Stars forward Mike Okoth Origi was the star of the night as English giants Liverpool rose from their ruins to stun a star studded Barcelona 4 – 0 and sail to the UEFA Champions League final on Tuesday 7 May at Anfield, Liverpool.
Liverpool headed to the clash firmly as the underdogs, carrying a 0 – 3 loss from the first leg in Spain, and this match all seemed a formality. That was before the opening whistle sounded at Anfield.
Rose above key injuries
Deprived of two of their best attacking options with Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah out injured, The Reds, losing finalists in last season’s competition, were quick off the blocks, with Origi netting a seventh minute opener.
With a goal, Liverpool were still a long way off and would labour to double their advantage, going to the break just holding on the slim lead and a big second half on the way, with another injury to deal with after Andrew Robertson failed to return for the second half.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp threw in the fray Dutchman Georginio Wijnadlum, and James Milner had to switch to left back.
That change proved a masterclass as Wijnadlum, nine minutes on, slotted in the second, and two minutes later, the third.
With the scores level on aggregate, and well over half an hour to go, flashes of Barcelona’s collapse at AS Roma last season flashed by, as well as Liverpool’s comeback in the 2004 final as they stunned AC Milan.
Well, the script couldn’t have been better, with Origi, who has scored crucial goals for Liverpool over time, taking the mantle once again, in the 79th minute as he stole in unmarked to fire past Andre Ter Stegen after meeting Trent Arnold’s corner.
Liverpool will now be on the watch for their opponents in the final, as Tottenham Hotspur take on the tournament’s surprise package, Ajax, in the other semi final in Amsterdam on Wednesday 8 May.