Jurgen Klopp's incredible Dortmund homecoming
Published 07/04/2016 | 23:10
All eyes were on Jurgen Klopp on Thursday night as he returned to the club he led to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final for his Liverpool side's Europa League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Here, we take a look at how the German fared back at the Westfalenstadion in the first leg of the quarter-final tie.
There was never any doubt Klopp would be afforded a hero's welcome from Dortmund's famous 'Yellow Wall'. The man the home fans affectionately call 'Kloppo' was greeted with 'welcome home' and 'thank you' banners and acknowledged the reception when he came out on to the pitch before kick-off. Klopp described it as "nice" after the game.
It was a little more than that. He stressed beforehand, however, that, for all the love, he would not get caught up in the emotion of the occasion, which was brought home by a spine-tingling rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' by the entire stadium before kick-off. He joked his chief concern was making sure he did not try and enter the home team dressing room by mistake.
There was no shred of sympathy for his former employers in evidence as Klopp celebrated Divock Origi's opening goal by punching the air, thumping his chest with both fists and roaring with delight. It was a display of pure passion from a manager never afraid of showing his emotions and he was his usual effervescent, expressive self on the touchline.
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- Watch: Liverpool and Dortmund fans belt out 'You'll Never Walk Alone' prior to Europa League showdown
Klopp opted to start Origi over Daniel Sturridge, hoping his pace and freshness would cause the Dortmund defence problems. And the selection paid off handsomely as the Belgian ran on to a headed flick to fire home the away goal. He continued to trouble the hosts as Liverpool carved out more than enough chances to win the game and was a useful outlet as they stood firm amid second-half Dortmund possession.
Liverpool, with Dejan Lovren and in particular Mamadou Sakho excellent, nullified the threat of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang entirely and Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to a large extent, but their defensive failings were apparent as an unmarked Mats Hummels headed the leveller.
Klopp was forced into a half-time change as Joe Allen replaced injured captain Jordan Henderson. The former Swansea man was neat and tidy and a nuisance in midfield. Roberto Firmino replaced Adam Lallana in the 77th minute and Sturridge came on for Origi, who had run himself into the ground, in the 84th, both attack-minded changes.
A 1-1 draw against the competition favourites, who thumped Tottenham 3-0 here last month, was certainly a result Liverpool would have taken before kick-off. Klopp looked satisfied at the finish, but he admitted afterwards an off-colour Dortmund were there for the taking and his frustration with the manner in which they conceded. He also admitted a knee injury for Henderson took the shine off the result.