Jurgen Klopp returned to Dortmund, to face his former side, with Liverpool in the first leg quarter final tie of the UEFA Europa League. It was a sweet homecoming for the German, as his side came away with a 1-1 draw with the away goal giving them the advantage going into the second leg at Anfield.
It was an emotionally charged game with the homecoming of Klopp. The whole arena erupted into an emotional, spine chilling rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. But all sporting and solidarity gestures were put aside once the game started as both teams looked to qualify for the semi finals.
Liverpool opened the scoring with a superb Divock Origi finish and defended well with Lovren and Sakho putting strong and resilient performances, keeping an in-form Aubameyang in check.
Dortmund wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as captain Matt Hummels equalized towards the end of the game to keep his side’s chances of qualification alive.
Speaking on the result
Speaking on the result against his old club, he said: “Dortmund is a pretty good side and everyone could see that but we had our moments and we could have won the game. I’m pretty sure a lot of people thought we would lose 2, 3 or 4-0. But at some moments we had Dortmund and around our goal we were brilliant.”
He added that he thought his team wasn’t far behind Dortmund in terms of quality, but at the moment, they can’t play like them. He went on to say that his side could defend and score goals, hence they can win.
On his return and reception
It was the first time he had come back to the Westfalenstadion since leaving at the end of the 2013/14 season after 6 trophies in 7 years with Die Schwarzgelben. Speaking on his return and the reception he got, he said that it was nice. He went on to say, “A lot of people spoke about it but when I came onto the pitch it was respectful applause and that’s nice. That’s how it should be. There was applause which I took for me and I made a small gesture in return.” He went on to say that the fans in Dortmund are very special and he felt good coming back as he believed it is a special place to come to.
Speaking On The Result
According to Independent, when asked about the result and the second leg at Anfield, he said “We are not frightened and we are not too disappointed, tonight was not our top performance and to win you need a top performance. In a quarter-final it can be that you don’t deserve to win and that was the case.”
The former Mainz coach went on to say that he expected them to be better, freer in their passing and play with a better rhythm. About the next leg in Anfield, he added “It’s half-time and the players are confident. We are looking forward to the game at Anfield.”
Speaking about the away goal advantage, he said that even though Origi’s goal could prove to be important, his team can score away goals as they have shown in numerous occasions this season.
Jurgen Klopp seemed to have gotten his tactics bang on, but would’ve hoped that the Reds could have gone back to Anfield victorious. However, his side do have an away goal advantage, which is the next best thing. Tuchel’s men will go into the tie confident of their ability, with players like Aubamenyang, Reus and Mkhitaryan who are all match winners in their own right. Liverpool will be boosted by the support of their fans and Jurgen Klopp will hope that he comes out from the second meeting with his old side with a better result than the first.