A fleeting moment of eye contact preceded one of the most iconic goals in Liverpool’s history.

With the first anniversary of the Reds’ astonishing Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona on the horizon, Divock Origi has shared his memories of an unforgettable night with BT Sport.

The Anfield atmosphere, the pre-match mood in the camp and Jürgen Klopp’s half-time team talk were among the topics the Belgian discussed - as was, of course, his winning goal, which came about after a glance into Trent Alexander-Arnold’s eyes…

On the atmosphere in L4…

It was electric. It was something special, something that really warmed us as players, that put us in a different state. Going to the stadium, seeing all the fans, it was heart-warming.

On the feeling within the squad in the build-up to the second leg…

I think it was positive because we came off a good game that we won at Newcastle, which gave us a lot of energy and obviously kept us in the race for the league [title] so we just tried to recover from it. We knew that Barcelona was coming and we still enjoyed playing on a big stage, so knowing us and knowing our mentality we just wanted to go there and play the best football that we can. In the days before it was sunny, we tried to relax, there was a lot of positive energy and you could feel like there wasn’t any sense that we would give up. OK, we recovered, we came back from Newcastle and we’re going to go and fight against Barcelona.

On whether Liverpool could play with freedom, having lost the first leg 3-0 at Camp Nou… 

I think it [the first-leg scoreline] definitely put the bar very high, which we like, because obviously you need to score four and not concede against one of the best teams in the world. So it challenged us to dig very deep and the fact that they scored three goals helped us even more to just go out there and play our football. We know our fundamentals, we know what we have to do, we know what makes us Liverpool, and it’s the same for the fans and for everyone. I think that game brought the best side of us up.

On the Reds’ approach to the game…

I do think that we were really, really, super motivated and we were on it. I remember focusing on what I had to do because it was such an important moment so maybe for Barcelona it didn’t work to their advantage that the atmosphere was so loud and that we pressed them so high and obviously we took risks as well because we knew we had to score goals. The way we played, I think, was very courageous and that was a big factor of helping to win that game and to make sure that Barcelona didn’t come into their flow.

On his emotions after his first goal, which made it 1-0 on the night after just seven minutes…

I just felt like ‘look, we need to keep on going’. Obviously it put us in the game and I was happy that it happened so early, but at the same time there was still a long way to go and you can see in my body language it was just ‘we need to keep on going and keep on scoring goals’.

On what Klopp said at half-time… 

I think at half-time he just made a couple of tactical adjustments and kept pushing us in the right direction. I think we had to keep on going, we maybe had to adjust two or three minor things, but overall I think we were good in the game and often when that happens the coach doesn’t really adjust that much. He just gave us fuel, whatever energy was there with what he said, so when we went out we said ‘look, this is possible and we need to keep on going’. I think in the dressing room as well that’s the first thing you could feel. It was: ‘Yes guys, you are doing well but at the same time you still have a long way to go so we need to keep on being brave.’

On the volume in the dressing room at the break…

I do think that it was a place where I felt like everything we did was very energetic but was still under control. We were in a good place mentally, I think we weren’t thinking too much ahead or much in the past, we were just in the moment and at that time you could feel it, you could sense it. It’s important to be able to block out everything because it’s a high-pressure game, there’s a lot at stake, there’s a lot of energy coming from all sides and I think as players we really had a mature stance emotionally and mentally in that half-time.

On whether Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner took him by surprise, or whether he saw the ball coming into the box…

I did see. I saw a ball on the pitch and I wanted to give it back to the ballboy, so when I did that I was walking back but people took some time to come into position so automatically I was looking at who was taking the corner because depending on that it changes my positioning. When I was looking I could see Trent looking up and I think we made brief eye contact and I could see that he was going to do something instinctively, so when he whipped that ball in I looked up before I could kick the ball and I saw that Pique and Ter Stegen were more in the middle and the left side was open. It was quite a hard shot and I was just happy! When it went in, it happened so quick. Even mentally to realise it takes a while and it was a key moment.

On whether he was focused on just trying to make good contact with his shot, or whether he was looking to specifically place it…

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. I think I obviously worked a lot on finishing, which is quite important, and for me, it’s just being in the moment. It’s being able to adapt and react and there are games when sometimes there is a lot in your head and you struggle to get in that zone, but that’s one of the games where you’re just in the zone and you’re flowing and things instinctively happen easier. Maybe on a bad day the ball goes in the stands – and I don’t think many people would blame me because it was quite a difficult ball – but it happened well, it clicked and it shows in which flow we really were as a team.

On which goal means more to him - his Barcelona winner or his strike in the final in Madrid…

For me, I think it’s just different emotions. It’s very different. I am always pro-team, so whichever goal, defensive action or assist that can help the team win, that’s for me the key moment. I’d say the Tottenham goal was more closer to lifting the cup, so that has a different emotion than us coming back in the semi-final, which was crucial as well. And I know that both had big importance, that all three of the goals [in the semi-final and final] were very important so when people ask me to choose, I tell them that I prefer that they choose for themselves! 

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