Divock Origi’s unbelievable 96th-minute winner in the Merseyside Derby has kept Liverpool’s title hopes alive. The striker, who is in the last year of his Liverpool contract, headed home after Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s blunder, giving the Reds all three points.
Liverpool were nearly four full points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City. The Cityzens defeated Bournemouth 3-1 on Saturday giving them a five-point cushion when Liverpool kicked off at Anfield. Manchester City have been nearly unstoppable and any loss of points would have dented Liverpool’s title hopes.
Liverpool have won the Merseyside Derby after a calamitous error from Jordan Pickford in injury time!
Divock Origi is the hero!
— Under The Floodlights (@UTF_Sport) December 2, 2018
The Reds’ chances of winning the Premier League could have all been gone had Everton earned a draw. Liverpool dominated much of the Merseyside Derby but failed to break down Everton. The Reds ended with 58 percent of the possession managing four shots on target.
Are Liverpool’s title hopes real?
Heading into Sunday’s derby, some media outlets proclaimed Liverpool were just “hanging on” to Manchester City. Despite struggling to score goals — 27 in 14 games — Jurgen Klopp’s squad has remained difficult to beat. The Reds are still undefeated and Manchester City are once again within two points.
If Liverpool can continue winning, they have every chance of catching Manchester City. Mohamed Salah has scored in every other game, while Sadio Mane has tallied six goals. Roberto Firmino hasn’t been scoring with the frequency of last term, but seven other Liverpool players have scored at least once to pick up the slack.
Liverpool are not the offensive juggernauts they were before. Yet, the team is far more defensive than at any other time since the departure of Rafael Benitez. Sunday’s win gives goalkeeper Alisson Becker a Premier League-leading nine clean sheets. It is one more than Manchester City’s Ederson.
The Reds will play Manchester City on January 3rd. It will come during a busy time that could make or break Liverpool’s title hopes. Burnley, Bournemouth, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle, and Arsenal will clash with Liverpool prior to meeting Pep Guardiola’s team.
Manchester City will have a slightly easier set of league fixtures before playing Liverpool at the Etihad. Watford, Chelsea, Everton, Crystal Palace, Leicester, and Southampton will all come before Liverpool’s visit. Both sides must also play on day six of the Champions League. Manchester City are already through, but Liverpool are in a do or die situation against Napoli.
Origi has kept Liverpool’s title hopes alive. The Reds are still within grasp of Manchester City. Tottenham’s loss to Arsenal has eliminated them from title contention, but Liverpool still have a fighting chance of lift their first Premier League trophy.