Mats Hummels cancelled out Divock Origi’s opener but Dortmund were unable to prevent Liverpool taking home an away goal advantage.
Liverpool will take a precious away goal back to Anfield after an entertaining 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Jürgen Klopp’s return to his former club in the first leg of the sides’ UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
For a match that started at a furious pace, goalmouth action was at an early premium. Mamadou Sakho blocked from the impressive Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the 16th minute, but otherwise opportunities were limited during the opening half-hour.
That changed, however, when Liverpool took the lead against the run of play. Immediately after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had drawn a good save from Simon Mignolet, James Milner nodded the ball forward at the other end for Divock Origi, who calmly slotted past Roman Weidenfeller.
Dortmund responded strongly, with Mignolet called into action on several occasions, and continued in the same fashion after the interval. Indeed, three minutes into the second period Dortmund were deservedly level, Mats Hummels rising highest to plant a powerful header past Mignolet.
The visitors, however, stayed in the game, with Philippe Coutinho eliciting an outstanding stop from Weidenfeller before the hour. Dortmund finished in the ascendancy, though ultimately both sides were content to take the tie, perfectly poised, to Anfield.
Wall of noise
The BVB Stadion Dortmund was perhaps as loud as it has been all season, yet if Klopp knew exactly what to expect from the famous ‘Yellow Wall’, it took his players a while to get going. With Dortmund clearly relishing the occasion, Liverpool were off the pace in the first half-hour before coming alive when Origi struck in the 36th minute.
Hummels has been in superb form since the turn of the year and crowned another imposing performance with a fantastic equaliser. Climbing to meet Mkhitaryan’s cross from the right, the Dortmund captain’s header left Mignolet with no chance. At the back, the German international marshalled Origi well for the most part.
Klopp’s Dortmund homecoming was undeniably the pre-match talking point, although once proceedings got under way the quality of football on show overshadowed anything else. The game was played at a furious pace throughout, with no shortage of attacking quality on show either. Dortmund were probably the better side on the night, but Liverpool’s rugged defensive display also deserved plaudits.