Liverpool completed one of the most startling comebacks in UEFA Europa League history to defeat Borussia Dortmund and book their place in Friday’s semi-finals draw.
Jürgen Klopp’s side scored three second half goals to hand the German coach a 5-4 aggregate victory against his former club with Dejan Lovren crashing in a late header in front of the Kop on a famous night at Anfield.
Unperturbed by the heated atmosphere, Dortmund started brightly, showing they meant business from the off. After the hosts lost possession too high in the fifth minute, Henrikh Mkhitaryan started and finished an outstanding counterattack for the opening goal.
BVB were two goals to the good four minutes later, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang supplying an excellent finish to Marco Reus’s defence-splitting pass. With a mountain to climb, Liverpool slowly improved, and Adam Lallana could have cut the deficit had he not miscued.
Shortly after the interval Liverpool did pull a goal back, with Divock Origi latching onto Emre Can’s through-ball and finishing calmly.
Hope at Anfield was restored, but Reus’s fine finish from Mats Hummels’s pass sent the travelling fans into raptures once more. Undeterred, Liverpool continued to attack and again cut the deficit, Philippe Coutinho’s trademark strike from distance leaving Roman Weidenfeller no chance.
Mamadou Sakho found the net late on, setting up a climactic end to a unpredictable evening. Lovren then etched his name into Anfield folklore with a winner in added time to give Liverpool yet another famous comeback victory.
Liverpool almost made to pay for errors
Twice Liverpool gave the ball away in the Dortmund half in the opening stages, and twice they were punished. Alberto Moreno lost possession to Mkhitaryan, who started and finished the move that led to the first goal, before Roberto Firmino was dispossessed soon afterwards, allowing Reus to pick out Aubameyang for the second. The Reds got out of jail but they they cannot afford to keep making so many lapses.
Every time Dortmund scored, the hosts seemed down and out. But, to their immense credit, Liverpool hit back every time. Jürgen Klopp will take plenty of heart from his side’s brilliantly courageous second-half display, one which suggests they may go all the way.