Thursday, April 14, 2016 11:38 pm
I had written off Liverpool myself, six minutes to go in the second leg of the Europa league against Bundesliga runner up, Borussia Dortmund.
Both teams were all square at 3-3, with aggregate score at 4-4. Liverpool needed a goal and I had thought it was no longer going to be possible, with the team already scoring three out of the four goals recorded in the second half of the intense match.
But I was wrong. I didn’t know a Dejan Lovren could deliver a miraculous goal for Liverpool and stun Dortmund. And he did it at the cruellest of the time, the extra time.
Somehow Liverpool had delivered another miracle of Istanbul, in which they came from three goals down to win the UEFA champions league trophy in 2004/05 , stunning AC Milan.
For sometime to come, this other remarkable comeback of Liverpool in the Europa League match against Dortmund will be a staple of discussion among soccer buffs.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave Borussia Dortmund a dream start by drilling home from close range after five minutes. Then Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang doubled the lead after nine minutes with a clinical finish in the penalty area.
And Liverpool were almost written off as gone. But Divock Origi pulled a goal back for the hosts three minutes into the second half with a composed strike.
Then a stunning Marco Reus goal looked to have killed the tie before Philippe Coutinho scored another for Liverpool. Mamadou Sakho headed home from close range on 77th minute and suddenly, Liverpool were only a goal away.
Dejan Lovren had the final say, rising highest to head home at the back post in the 91st minute and instantaneously transforming into a grand hero for the Reds.
And all suddenly a team that were almost dead, woke up to send Coach Juergen Klopp’s former team, Dortmund back to Germany empty handed. It was a night not to forget at Anfield.
Elsewhere in Europe, Sevilla beat Athletic Bilbao 5-4 in penalty shootout after game ended 3-3, aggregate score. Cokee, Grezegorz Krychowiak, Yevheniy Konoplyanka, Steven Nzonzi and Kevin Gameiro were all flawless for Sevilla, while Benat Etxebarria missed for Bilbao.
Shakhtar Donetsk made the return leg at home with Braga a 4-0 rout, winning on aggregate 6-1.
Villareal also beat Sparta Prague 4-2 away, logging a 6-3 aggregate win to complete the fourth semi-final qualifier.