Europa League: Origi on target as Liverpool gets crucial away goal
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp enjoyed a satisfying return to Borussia Dortmund as his new side frustrated his former team and claimed a valuable away goal to draw 1-1 in their Europa League quarter-final, first leg on Thursday at Signal Iduna Park.
international, Divock Origi established great tranquility to steer the Reds into a first-half lead, expertly converting after
collecting James Milner’s header on. Dortmund equalized in the early stages of
the second half when Mats Hummels converted with a header from a corner.
Hosts enjoy possession
Dortmund enjoyed the greater of the early possession, but the first chance did not arrive until the 15th minute when Marco Reus swung a half-volley well wide of Simon Mignolet’s goal after Coutinho’s clearance had fallen invitingly for him on the edge of the area. Moments later, the hosts created a fine opportunity to take the lead when Reus’ cross from a ball in-behind cut out Mignolet and picked out Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the middle, but his seemingly goal-bound effort was repelled by a magnificent block from Mamadou Sakho.
Sakho makes vital block
At the other end, Dejan Lovren perhaps should have put the visitors ahead when he met a Milner’s set-piece with a downward header inside the six-yard box; however, it bounced up and into the gloves of Weidenfeller. On the half-hour mark, a wayward pass from Jordan Henderson only succeeded in picking out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who sped into the area and looked to tee up the supporting Reus, but Sakho was again right on time to make a crucial block. Mkhitaryan then dragged wide and Aubameyang curled innocently into the arms of Mignolet from the corner of the area as Thomas Tuchel’s men looked to break the deadlock.
Origi stuns Dortmund
However in the 36th minute, Liverpool left Signal Iduna Park stunned as they took the lead. Collecting Milner’s flick on, Origi held off the attentions of Lukasz Piszczek before reversing a low shot into the far corner of goal from just inside the box. And the Reds threatened a second almost immediately when Milner pounced on a loose ball but saw his effort cannon against the legs of Sven Bender. Nevertheless, Dortmund went agonizingly close to leveling as first only another outstanding block – this time from Dejan Lovren – denied Aubameyang from converting Mkhitaryan’s through ball in first-half stoppage-time.
Hummels cuts celebrations short
Origi could have added a second before the half time when he raced through from Alberto Moreno’s pass, but his attempt to push the ball beyond the onrushing Weidenfeller was fended off by the ‘keeper’s shoulder. Liverpool made a change in the second half, with Joe Allen replacing Henderson and with just three minutes of the second period elapsed, Dortmund leveled as Hummels powered in a close-range header from Mkhitaryan’s delivery at a short corner.
Coutinho, Clyne denied; Reus free-kick
However that did not dampen the Red’s spirits and an incredible passage of play witnessed them denied on three occasions by saves from Weidenfeller as Coutinho twice and Clyne watched shots pushed away by the home side’s custodian. At the other end, Reus curled a free-kick straight into the grasp of Mignolet as the contest followed a similar to the pattern to the opening half – Dortmund seeing more of the ball, but Liverpool threatening on the counter.
With time ticking away, first Firmino and then Sturridge were introduced into the action, with Lallana and Origi making way but both sides could not find a way to get a late lead, settling for a 1-1 draw.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Bender [Papastathopoulos 76'], Hummels, Schmelzer, Weigl, Castro, Durm [Sahin 45'], Mkhitaryan, Reus, Aubameyang [Pulisic 77']
Unused Subs: Leitner, Kagawa, Ginter, Bürki
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Henderson [Allen 45'], Can, Milner, Lallana [Firmino at 77'], Origi [Sturridge 84'], Coutinho
Unused Subs: K. Touré, Ibe, Smith, Ward
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