SportSoccer

Liverpool pull off sensational Europa League comeback against Dortmund

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Lovren toasted his winner in front of The Kop
Lovren toasted his winner in front of The Kop
Lovren rose highest to score Liverpool's dramatic winner
Lovren rose highest to score Liverpool's dramatic winner

When they look back on the great European nights at Anfield, this will be right up there.

Liverpool have form for stunning European comebacks and this will go down alongside the best of them as they snatched an added-time winner to beat Borussia Dortmund in a modern-day Anfield classic.

All hope seemed lost at 2-0 down - 3-1 on aggregate - after 10 minutes and later at 3-1 behind on the night and 4-2 adrift over the two legs, but the hosts dug deep and produced a remarkable turnaround which saw Dejan Lovren score a dramatic winner. A 4-3 win carried Liverpool through 5-4 on aggregate.

The dramatic finale inspired this remarkable commentary by Sunday World columnist John Aldridge:

Manager Jurgen Klopp's assertion back in November that "we decide when it is over" rang true as his players, while not of the 2005 Istanbul vintage, gave every part of their being to put them into the Europa League semi-finals.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the visitors ahead early on, cancelling out Liverpool's away goal in Germany, before Divock Origi's fourth goal in his last three games offered some hope.

Marco Reus appeared to have extinguished hopes but Mamadou Sakho and Lovren, both central defenders, proved to be the unlikeliest of heroes on a night when Klopp's side came of age.

The result inspired another of those wonderfully quirky post match interviews from Klopp, as he threw a swear word in to the mix after a night of drama that left him physically drained.

"We fought back like devils and it is deserved," he declared.

"Maybe we were little bit lucky as that is always the case when you score the winner after 90 minutes, but we deserve it for the chances we created.

"It is difficult to explain. A wonderful, wonderful night at Anfield and to be honest the game was strange.

"When we brought Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen on we gave them the message, 'we have to show character.' I don't care if we lose, we have to show them and we did even more. This is European football at its best. It's hard to believe. Congratulations to all of the lads.

"At half-time it's difficult to stay brave but we agreed that the we had to go the hard way. It is a game that all fans - even not of Liverpool or Dortmund - can say, OK, football is a nice game.

"It was brilliant. I think that's what European football can be at its best. It was a wonderful experience and it's hard to believe it really happened."

Liverpool summed up their great win with this Twitter message:

That was followed up by a classy reply from the official Borussia Dortmund Twitter account:

Dortmund's despair after the crazy night at Anfield was earlier summed up by this tweet that greeted Lovren's winning goal: