Borussia Dortmund bowed out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday as Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool FC grabbed a late goal to triumph 4-3 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate to reach the last four.
The day before the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Dortmund and their fans fully respected the memory of the 96 victims in a poignant minute's silence, but once the game started, BVB showed their opponents little sympathy. Jürgen Klopp would surely have been proud of the passing move that led to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's volley being brilliantly parried by Simon Mignolet had Henrikh Mkhitaryan not netted the follow-up for an early lead that was soon embellished by Aubameyang - the Gabon international's famed pace took him clear before he rifled a shot high into the net.
In contrast to the cagey first-leg draw, the return was full of goalscoring chances at both ends, but it was not until Divock Origi broke clear and poked the ball under Roman Weidenfeller that the hosts found the net. A sumptuous Mats Hummels pass and equally delicious Marco Reus finish restored BVB's two-goal lead soon after, but Philippe Coutinho's measured curling shot revived home hopes.
They were fuelled still further when Mamadou Sakho nodded in a Coutinho corner from close range before Dejan Lovren rose to meet James Milner's back-post cross and send Anfield Road wild. There was almost a sting in the tail for the hosts - and a fairytale ending for BVB - when Marcel Schmelzer was fouled just outside the Reds' box and Ilkay Gündogan teed up the free-kick, but his effort - with the very last kick of an epic match - flashed just past the post.
Man of the Match
Mkhitaryan was so influential in the opening exchanges in which Dortmund dominated, despite his opener proving too little for the visitors.
Thomas Tuchel will be concerned that his team conceded four goals and really struggled to get their game going in the second half, particularly after such a fantastic start.
- BVB had won all 33 competitive outings this season in which Mkhitaryan had scored before defeat at Anfield.
- Dortmund's two goals inside nine minutes is the fastest ever UEFA Europa League brace for an away team.
- It was only their second loss in eight away fixtures in the competition this season.
- Hummels made his 50th appearance in European club competition.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno - Can (Lucas 80'), Milner -Lallana (Allen 62'), Coutinho, Firmino (Sturridge 62') - Origi
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Weigl, Castro (Gündogan 82') - Mkhitaryan, Kagawa (Ginter 77'), Reus (Ramos 83') - Aubameyang
Coach: Thomas Tuchel