The pressure was on for Divock Origi to take on Lille’s scoring burden and the player on loan from Liverpool didn’t disappoint. On Saturday evening, the Belgian striker scored the only goal of the game as Lille beat Bastia 1-0 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. The victory lifts the club to second in the table before Sunday’s matches.
It was a great strike and a great way for Origi to score his third of the season, but it doesn’t mask the overall problems that the northern side have suffered in front of goal.
Once again there was a severe lack of penetration and creativity from the Lille attack, even though René Girard had picked a more attack-minded starting XI for the home match. Origi returned to the starting lineup after he was on the bench for the away defeat to Nice and the home draw with Montpellier.
With three goals and an assist, Origi has been involved in 57% of Lille’s goals this season. That sounds like a great stat for the striker, but it more highlights Lille’s inefficiency in front of goal. Only three teams in Ligue 1 have scored fewer goals. Even two of the sides in the bottom three have scored more goals than Lille this season.
This needs to be the catalyst for both Lille and Origi’s season in front of goal. The main problem is a failure to get in behind the opposition defences. Everything is played in front of the 16-yard box and even the full-backs are cautious about getting to the by-line.
Without Origi asking questions of the back four, both Lille and the player look stifled and lacking ideas. This is the next step in Origi’s career, he needs to take the game on his shoulders and become a prominent influence, a trait he will need when he returns to Liverpool next summer.
The forward is still only 19 years old, and he only scored five goals last season, so three after eight games is a decent return, it’s just not been as impressive as everyone, including Origi, expected.
Next, Lille travel to Lyon for what will be a tough away test. Origi will need to be at his best.