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heavy mettle Origi's late-late show proves that doubting this Liverpool team is a fool's game

Klopp's men found a way to pass one of their biggest tests after Chelsea slip-up

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Liverpool's Divock Origi (centre) celebrates scoring his side's last-gasp goal against Wolves

Liverpool's Divock Origi (centre) celebrates scoring his side's last-gasp goal against Wolves

Liverpool's Divock Origi (centre) celebrates scoring his side's last-gasp goal against Wolves

I WOULD have bet my house on Liverpool failing to find a winner for most of yesterday’s game — yet doubting this team is a fool’s game.

Divock Origi’s injury-time winner was hugely significant on so many levels, as Liverpool had a rare off-day at Molineux and turned in a sloppy display as they missed chance after chance.

In my commentary on the game for LFC TV, I made the call after an hour that Liverpool were having one of those days and would never find a winning goal.

Yet Origi came off the bench to score a goal that fired Liverpool to a big victory, as they offered up an unwelcome kick in the stomach for their title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City.

The dramatic finish reminded me of the games Liverpool won in the first half of their title-winning season a couple of years back, as they kept finding late goals to win games when they were not at their best. Eventually, Manchester City became demoralised and didn’t believe they could get back into the title race as Liverpool won the Premier League by a mile.

This latest win will not have that kind of impact on Chelsea and City yet, as those two teams are far too good to fall out of the title race, but there is no doubting that this felt like a massive three points for a few reasons.

A slip-up from any of the three big teams at the top of the table is a rarity this season and when it happens, the teams in the title race know they have to take advantage.

So when the final whistle sounded at the London Stadium and West Ham inflicted a defeat on Chelsea in the early kick-off, Klopp’s side knew that opportunity was knocking for them.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Divock Origi celebrate after the win over Wolves

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Divock Origi celebrate after the win over Wolves

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Divock Origi celebrate after the win over Wolves

Maybe that partly explains why Liverpool were so poor for most of the game at Wolves. Sloppy is the polite word I would use to describe Liverpool’s performance, as they missed so many chances that should have been tucked away and appeared to be flat after some wonderful performances in recent weeks.

The thumping 4-1 win at Everton last Wednesday was another example of Liverpool at their brilliant best, as they took their local rivals apart and could have scored a lot more than four goals at Goodison Park.

The momentum coming out of that game was all in Liverpool’s favour, but I suspect they felt a little extra pressure on their shoulders after that Chelsea defeat in the early kick-off.

Diogo Jota has been fantastic in recent weeks, but he made some terrible decisions and his afternoon was summed up by the miss of the season on the hour mark.

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The Wolves keeper was out of the game after racing out of his box and the goal was at Jota’s mercy until he gave the opposition defenders a chance to get back and he managed to hit them on the line.

It was a horrible miss and it was no surprise to see him taken off soon after by Klopp as Jota was woeful against his former club.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were also off the pace and you could see from Klopp’s agitation on the sidelines that he was so frustrated by what he was seeing from his team.

Mane and Salah made the wrong choices when they were in promising positions and by the end, Liverpool were snatching at chances as panic kicked in.

Salah spurned a great chance in front of goal and then Mane missed a very presentable chance with about five minutes to go and it didn’t look like the winning moment would come.

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Liverpool's Diogo Jota sees his shot blocked on the line by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Conor Coady

Liverpool's Diogo Jota sees his shot blocked on the line by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Conor Coady

Liverpool's Diogo Jota sees his shot blocked on the line by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Conor Coady

Wolves knew they couldn’t take Liverpool on in a straight football contest as they would get torn apart, so they used every trick in the book to stop Klopp’s team in their tracks.

Their players were going down with cramp, served up tactical fouls aplenty to break up the game and referee Chris Kavanagh gave them all the assistance they needed by pandering to their antics.

Wolves reminded me of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in their prime, as they pushed the boundaries of the rules to breaking point and got the point they wanted.

I never like seeing destructive tactics succeeding, so it was great see Liverpool finally finding a way to kick down the Wolves defensive wall in the final seconds.

Origi made a big difference when he came off the bench as he looked fresh, hungry and determined to take his chance and when it came, he buried it in fine fashion.

A brilliant ball from Virgil van Dijk started the move, Salah served up a great cross for Origi and his turn and shot finally gave Liverpool what they needed.

Klopp has been in the game for long enough to appreciate that a 1-0 win with a last-gasp goal feels more important than a thumping victory of the variety Liverpool have served up time and again in recent weeks.

Winning when you are not at your best is what separates champions from the teams that come up short – and that’s why I feel Liverpool made a big statement with their win yesterday.

Jota’s horrible miss, the long list of misplaced passes and a display that left a lot to be desired will now be forgotten.

All that will be remembered from Liverpool’s away game at Wolves now will be Origi’s winner and the fact that it sent Liverpool to the top of the table for a couple of hours before Man City replaced them with their win at Watford last night

These are the kind of wins that convince players that they can win the big trophies and while Premier League titles are not won on cold afternoons at Molineux in December, the building blocks of success are put into place in games like this.

Somehow, Liverpool found a way to pass one of their biggest tests yesterday and their title rivals will have been stunned by Origi’s late knock-out blow.

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