Summary

  • Dortmund out of Europa League after conceding four second-half goals at Anfield.
  • Hummels laments lack of focus after taking 3-1 lead.
  • BVB captain says defeat was 'self-inflicted'.

Mats Hummels was left to ponder what might have been after Borussia Dortmund were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League in the most dramatic of circumstances in Liverpool on Thursday.

Speaking after the game, the Dortmund captain tried to get his head around how his side managed to throw away a 3-1 lead, not to mention concede four second-half goals.

Match report: Liverpool 4-3 Dortmund (agg. 5-4)

Question: To get knocked out in added time is a bitter pill to swallow. How did you manage to throw the game away?

Mats Hummels: That's a good question, one we've already asked ourselves. We still have to find an exact explanation. At 3-1, we should have brought the game under control so that there was nothing left in it, but we didn't do that with or without the ball. We lost our stability in defence and attack. It wasn't like Liverpool had chances to score every two minutes. In the end, they scored with every chance they had. I can't remember any chances that didn't go in. That's just bad luck. It's one of those games that we lost; the opponent didn't win.

© imago / Eibner

Question: The team set up really offensively and that was justified with the two early goals, but could you not have played more defensively at 3-1 and perhaps brought on someone like Sven Bender?

Hummels: No, it's always a mistake to think like that. We lost control of the game and were no longer active, we weren't focused enough. We had to let the ball do the work in every position and go in hard in the tackle. Unfortunately, we stopped doing that in every area.

Question: Did you think the game was safe?

Hummels: Yes, there is an element of that. After we made it 3-1, maybe there was the odd thought like that, but we didn't really think it was over. It's possible, but that'd really surprise me.

As it happened: Dortmund lose Liverpool thriller

© imago / Moritz Müller

Question: Were Liverpool simply stronger mentally?

Hummels: They just always believed they could do it. The atmosphere was incredible. It was a massive deal for Liverpool fans. We've experienced something similar before, but this time it was in a negative sense. Like I said, you have to stand your ground in the decisive phases, be up to it physically, but that unfortunately wasn't the case for us. That's how you lose a game against a team with good individuals and with 42,000 fans behind them. You have to fight it with everything you have, but that's what was missing for us.

Read: More reaction to Dortmund's UEL exit

Question: What does your exit from the Europa League mean for the remainder of the season? You brought the defeat on yourselves.

Hummels: That's exactly right: the defeat was self-inflicted - nothing else. We also didn't play well in the first leg and made mistakes. A lot was made of how well Liverpool defended last week, but they didn't do that [in the second leg] and we didn't do enough to take advantage. At the end of the day, it's a massive disappointment. It was our most realistic chance of winning a title this season. I actually thought we were going to win the competition, so it's obviously a massive setback.

Alexander Barklage reporting from Anfield