Liverpool FC 4* – 3 Dortmund (Europa League)

*LFC advance 5-4 on aggregate.

This, in a nutshell, is what it’s all about.

Stories don’t write themselves any better. If any of you historians want to go back and look at what AC Milan’s line up was back in 2005, you’d agree, “We had no business beating Milan in that final.”

There are of course the hopelessly optimistic who will tell you, “I knew we still had it at half time.”

I would have told you, “We’ll be lucky if we can hold them to six!”

Tonight against Dortmund, there was a quiet calm. Half resigned to the fact that on paper, we would have no business beating BVB. The other half however, well…we’ve been down this road before haven’t we fellow Red supporters?

Early on, it looked like what many suspected would happen in Germany, BVB strolling to an easy win over a mid table EPL team. What on earth were we doing, playing so loose and open? There were acres of space in midfield for the German club to counter attack into, and they did to devastating effect.

I am nobody to question Jurgen Klopp’s tactics, but I would have put money down that we would attempt to weather the onslaught for the first 15 minutes or so, not trade blow for blow like a Rocky film.

Going into halftime we were unlucky not to have at least pulled one goal back. We are fantastic at creating chances. We are below average at finishing them off. Still, the calm, I couldn’t figure it out. Again, perhaps it was because we were playing with house money at this point in the season.

When Origi put us to within one with 35 odd minutes on the clock, I thought, “doable.”

Then Hummels to Reus happened. What a pass, and what a finish by Reus. 1 – 3 and needing three goals, surely our ship had been sunk.

Why Dortmund didn’t decide to pack it in I’ll never know, so on we played. And play the Redmen did. First with Coutinho atoning for his errant pass to Moreno which set up the counter attack on BVB’s first goal. You could feel the game’s tilt leaning more and more in favor of the Reds.

How James Milner can be such a good crosser of the ball, yet not be able to beat the first man from a corner kick had me typing to my friend on WhatsApp , “James Milner needs to learn how to cross the f—ing ball.”

After about 10 corner kicks we finally did beat the first man, perhaps with Sturridge putting off the defender with an attempted flick that opened up just enough space for Sakho to head in for the leveler. (“We got this.”)

Finally in the beginning of stoppage time, Milner provided a perfectly weighted cross to the far post that Dejan Lovren was all too happy to head in for the winner. What a game.

A big round of applause needs to go to the supporters, from both teams. The atmosphere was fantastic. The game ceased to be about Klopp and instead centered around two teams playing attractive football. It’s a style that cuts both ways; unless you can clearly outclass the other team, the susceptibility in defense is always a danger. What a pleasing sight to behold…




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