'People thought we would lose'- Klopp lauds players as Liverpool defy doubters in Dortmund
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side silenced their doubters after a battling display against Borussia Dortmund secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
Klopp’s side were underdogs heading into the tie against the favourites to lift the Europa League trophy, but they go into the second leg at Anfield next week with a strong chance to seal a semi-final spot.
Divock Origi’s first half away goal could be crucial in the final analysis of the tie, with former Dortmund coach Klopp content with his side’s efforts at a packed Westfalenstadion.
“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,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“We are not that far on our way like they are and we cannot at the moment play like they play, but we can defend and score goals so we can win. Dortmund is a pretty good side and everyone could see that but we had our moments and we could have won the game.”
Klopp was given a warm reception by the Dortmund supporters as he made his return to his former club, with the applause that came his way welcomed by the German tactican.
“It was nice,” he reflected. “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. I had a wonderful time here, but I am the Liverpool manager now. My team is Liverpool and this is all I focus on.”
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel insisted his side will not be intimidated when they travel to Liverpool next week, with his side needing to score at least one goal at Anfield to keep their hopes of progress in the tie alive.
“We are not frightened and we are not too disappointed,” he stated. “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.
“This was exactly what we expected from Liverpool, but we expected ourselves to be better, freer in our passing and with a better rhythm. We have been to a lot of places and scored and won. It’s half-time and the players are confident. We are looking forward to the game at Anfield.”
Meanwhile, Klopp admitted the knee injured that forced his captain Jordan Henderson off could be serious, as doubts have been raised over whether he will play again this season.