Liverpool staged one of the most dramatic comebacks Anfield has seen to thrash Borussia Dortmund by 4-3 in a classic and reach the Europa League semi-finals with a 5-4 aggregate result. After playing a 1-1 draw in Germany, Jurgen Klopp’s side were twice left needing three goals to go through in the face of Dortmund’s rapier attacks – but climbed the mountain twice with Dejan Lovren’s stoppage time header from James Milner’s cross concluding a night packed with drama and emotion.
Anfield commemorated the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 supporters died, with an impeccably observed minute’s silence before kick-off – followed by a thriller that will be recalled for generations for sheer excitement and a finale that sent Anfield wild. The Bundesliga side struck twice inside the first nine minutes through Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – both after swift breaks, with the latter sealed by a crisp 14-yard strike – to take a 3-1 aggregate lead in the tie.
The German side missed numerous more chances to extend their lead as Liverpool struggled to cope with their attacking threat. The Reds slowly grew into the game, creating and missing a succession of chances. Even when Divock Origi gave them hope early in the second half – slotting the ball through the legs of keeper Roman Weidenfeller – it seemed to have been snuffed out by Marco Reus’s cool 57th-minute finish.
They still needed three goals with less than 25 minutes left but Philippe Coutinho’s low shot cut the deficit and when Mamadou Sakho headed in after 77 minutes, Liverpool stood on the brink of something remarkable. Amid riotous scenes, Lovren rose to head home in stoppage time in front of the Kop to spark chaotic celebrations and seal a win that will take its place in Anfield folklore. This may not bring a trophy, but Klopp can now take his place alongside other Liverpool managers who have their names alongside famous victories.