Brave Liverpool create special moment at Anfield

By Reuters   April 15, 2016 | 03:30 pm GMT+7
Brave Liverpool create special moment at Anfield

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp had spoken about bravery in the run-up to their Europa League clash with Borussia Dortmund, but even the ever-enthusiastic German must have doubted if his side had the stomach to produce their stunning fightback on Thursday.

Liverpool trailed 2-0 to their coach's former club after nine minutes and 3-1 early in the second half, but spurred on by vociferous home support, produced a remarkable comeback to clinch a 4-3 win in stoppage time.

Dejan Lovren headed the winner to spark raucous celebrations at Anfield, with the home fans left rubbing their eyes in disbelief and the visitors scratching their heads at how their vice-like grasp on the tie had been loosened.

For Klopp, who spent seven remarkable years at Dortmund before arriving at Liverpool and could arguably take credit for both sides' performances, the stakes were high as he addressed his shell-shocked players at the interval.

"At halftime it's difficult to stay brave but we agreed that we had to go the hard way," he said.

Striker Divock Origi, who capped an impressive display with a second-half goal, revealed what his manager had said at the break to spark the revival.

"The coach said that we had to create a moment that we could tell our children or grandchildren and make a special night for the fans," he said.

"When we scored the first goal we all felt it would be a special moment."

It had looked like being anything but that when goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Dortmund in control.

Origi pulled a goal back, but, within minutes,Liverpool found themselves two goals adrift once more with Marco Reus curling a delightful finish past Simon Mignolet.

Philippe Coutinho began the fightback before Mamadou Sakho made it 3-3 with 12 minutes remaining and Lovren rose to head only his second Liverpool goal at the death.

The match was billed as a battle between two contrasting coaches in the effervescent Klopp and his more subdued successor at Dortmund Thomas Tuchel.

It was the Liverpool boss, however, who came out on top and can claim to have had the more telling impact on the tie.

Tuchel's decision to take off Reus and Shinji Kagawa, two of Dortmund's main attacking threats, late in the second half seemed to hand the initiative to Liverpool.

Klopp's substitutions, however, added impetus to the hosts.

"When we brought Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen on we gave them the message, 'we have to show character'," Klopp said.

"This is European football at its best. It's hard to believe. Congratulations to all of the lads." ody

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