Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool FC in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg on former head coach Jürgen Klopp's return to the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.
Goals: 0-1 Origi (36'), 1-1 Hummels (48')
Following an energetic opening characterised by the high-pressing tactics that made Dortmund such a force under Klopp, Thomas Tuchel’s side began to find pockets of space in front of the Liverpool back four. Marco Reus dragged an effort wide from 18 yards, before Mamadou Sakho rode to the visitors’ rescue to deny Henrikh Mkhitaryan a certain goal after a driving run and pass from Marcel Schmelzer. Dejan Lovren sent a free header straight at Roman Weidenfeller at the other end, and although Mkhitaryan was having an increasing influence on the game, the opening goal went the way of Liverpool as Divock Origi latched onto James Milner’s flicked header and fired beyond Weidenfeller. Origi should have added to his tally with the last kick of the half, but Weidenfeller was out in a flash to save.
The pace of the contest only intensified after the restart, with Mats Hummels meeting Mkhitaryan's floated ball into the box to head Dortmund level in the 48th minute. Liverpool responded in kind with a spate of scoring chances, but Weidenfeller was equal to each and every one of them. Dortmund seized control of possession thereafter, however, with Reus being afforded greater freedom in the final third. After testing Simon Mignolet with a free-kick, the BVB midfielder latched onto a brilliantly inventive ball from Hummels, only to be crowded out in the Liverpool area before he could pull the trigger. USMNT international midfielder Christian Pulisic entered the fray with 13 minutes of normal time remaining, but Liverpool held on to set up a fascinating return leg at Anfield in a week’s time.
Man of the match
Mkhitaryan was at the heart of all Dortmund's most promising moves, but Weidenfeller gets the nod after making a number of huge saves at vital stages in the game.
Although Klopp's return dominated the pre-match narrative, it was the fans' bewitching rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' that provided the enduring image of the contest.
- Tuchel named the same starting line-up that beat Tottenham Hotspur FC 3-0 in Dortmund’s Round of 16 first leg.
- Dortmund have fallen behind on seven occasions this season, losing just once.
- Mkhitaryan has registered six assists in 11 appearances in this season’s Europa League.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Hummels (c), S. Bender (Sokratis 76') - Durm (Sahin 46'), Castro, Weigl, Schmelzer - Mkhitaryan, Reus - Aubameyang (Pulisic 76')
Liverpool: Mignolet - Clyne, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno - Can - Henderson (c) (Allen 46'), Milner - Lallana (Firmino 77'), Coutinho - Origi (Sturridge 84')