Berlin - Liverpool claimed an excellent 1-1 draw with
Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on
Thursday as Jurgen Klopp made an emotional return to the Westfalenstadion.
The game marked Klopp's first coming together with his
former club since his departure last summer and subsequent appointment by
Liverpool back in October.
He saw Divock Origi put the Premier League side in front in
the 36th minute before Mats Hummels equalised for the hosts three minutes into
the second half.
However, that away goal means Liverpool have the upper hand
ahead of next Thursday's second leg at Anfield and Klopp will be confident his
side can progress to the last four after an encouraging display in Germany.
"Dortmund's a pretty good side. Everybody could see
that but we had our moments and we could have won the game," Klopp told BT
A rousing rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' – the
Liverpool hymn that is also a Dortmund anthem – preceded kick-off as Klopp took
in the scene at the stadium where he is still idolised after a highly
successful seven years as coach.
"It was respectful, nice and how it should be,"
Klopp said of his welcome.
But perhaps the emotion of the occasion got to the
Bundesliga team because they were unable to repeat their superb performance in
tearing Tottenham Hotspur apart in the last round.
Their 36-goal leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was
subdued and they were denied an opener when Mamadou Sakho bravely blocked a
Henrikh Mkhitaryan shot.
Also read: Klopp the focus as Dortmund meets Liverpool in Europa Cup
Dejan Lovren should have done better than head straight at
Roman Weidenfeller at the other end but Origi put the visitors in front when he
held off his marker and slotted low past the 'keeper after latching onto a
Jordan Henderson flick.
Weidenfeller prevented Origi from scoring again just before
the interval and Dortmund drew level shortly after the restart, captain Hummels
rising above Adam Lallana to head in a Mkhitaryan cross.
Weidenfeller saved well from Philippe Coutinho and the final
scoreline means the tie remains up for grabs, even if Liverpool have the edge.
SEVILLA WIN SPANISH BATTLE
Meanwhile, holders Sevilla remain on course to win the
trophy for the third season running after coming from behind to win 2-1 away to
Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their tie.
Sevilla have not won away from home all season in La Liga
and, after a goalless first half in which Aritz Aduriz hit the post for the
hosts, they went behind in the 48th minute.
Iker Muniain crossed and the evergreen Aduriz headed in his
32nd goal of a remarkable campaign.
But as the rain lashed down in the Basque Country, Sevilla
silenced San Mames when Ever Banega pounced on a short headed back-pass by
Muniain and set up Timothee Kolodziejczak to score.
Kevin Gameiro then set up substitute Vicente Iborra to give
Sevilla the win seven minutes from time and leave beaten 2012 finalists
Athletic up against it ahead of the return leg.
One Spanish side is guaranteed to make the last four and
Villarreal hope to be there too after beating Sparta Prague of the Czech
Republic 2-1 at El Madrigal.
Cedric Bakambu got both goals for the hosts, charging down a
clearance by goalkeeper David Bicik for the early opener and then scoring the
winner in the second half after Jakub Brabec had headed Sparta's equaliser.
Meanwhile Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, the 2009 Uefa Cup
winners, are in the driving seat in their tie against Braga after a 2-1 victory
Yaroslav Rakitskiy fired Shakhtar ahead on the stroke of
halftime and Facundo Ferreyra increased their lead before Wilson Eduardo
grabbed a potentially vital goal for 2011 runners-up Braga late on.For
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