Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool grabbed a precious away goal on his emotional return to Borussia Dortmund as Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final, first leg finished in a 1-1 draw.
A superb finish from Liverpool striker Divock Origi was cancelled out by a bullet header from Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.
The result favors the English side ahead of the return at Anfield in a week’s time.
“Now there’s a real bit of spice in the tie, but we haven’t got the feeling we’re through,” said Liverpool’s manager Klopp.
“Things could have gone worse and all in all it was good a good result from our perspective. Around the time we went 1-0 up, we really showed what we can do.”
On his much-hyped return to the Ruhr Valley, Klopp received a warm welcome at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, where he enjoyed seven years as Borussia coach, winning two Bundesliga titles and the German Cup in 2012.
His name received a loud cheer from the home fans when it was read out before kick-off and he hugged Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke on the halfway line during the warm-up.
“It was nice to be back and I really valued the applause I had before kick off,” added Klopp.
Both sets of supporters gave a rousing rendition of the two clubs’ anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in front of a sell-out crowd of 65,848, but once kick-off came it was down to business.
Dortmund made the stronger start with two clear chances in the opening half.
With a quarter of an hour gone, Marco Reus snapped up Adam Lallana’s clearance but fired his low drive just wide of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s right post.
The game had to be paused on 21 minutes when James Milner’s free-kick found Dejan Lovren.
The Croatian clashed heads with Roman Weidenfeller in the goal-mouth scramble and the Dortmund goalkeeper needed medical treatment before he could carry on.
Dortmund then wasted a golden chance when the Liverpool defense left Henrikh Mkhitaryan unmarked, but the midfielder dragged his shot just wide on 34 minutes.
And the hosts were left to regret their missed opportunities when Liverpool struck.
Milner, who was superb all night, flicked a pass to Origi and the Belgian striker slotted past Weidenfeller with a superb low drive, and a slight deflection, with 36 minutes gone.