Now for Liverpool's attack to deliver, says Gary Lim
After solid defensive display, Reds' offence must deliver final blow
QUARTER-FINAL, 1ST LEG
(Mats Hummels 48)
(Divock Origi 36)
Many felt they would be easily beaten by an effervescent force buoyed with confidence but they were wide off the mark.
Liverpool travelled to Dortmund with modest expectations, but returned with hope.
By all accounts, the 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund yesterday morning (Singapore time) boiled down to manager Juergen Klopp's tactical genius.
He daringly dropped England striker Daniel Sturridge for the young and hardworking Divock Origi to give the visitors a more energetic presence up front.
He coaxed a disciplined performance out of his erratic side.
He saw right through his former club and neutralised a fearsome offence containing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus.
Of course, his men have to be congratulated because for Klopp's strategy to work, it required them to believe and stand their ground out on the field, to hold their nerve when it mattered.
Against the odds, Liverpool's notoriously jittery defence pulled off the task.
Centre backs Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren put in their best performance as a partnership to stop a Dortmund team that have scored 117 goals in all competitions this season.
Nathaniel Clyne on the right offered defensive solidity and attacking thrust. Right back Alberto Moreno did a fairly decent job.
The backline clicked and, in next week's return leg at Anfield, Liverpool's attack must play their part.
REDS' NIGHT: Liverpool fans lit flares to celebrate the away goal by Divock Origi (above) PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP
Their crucial away goal at the Signal Iduna Park has changed the complexion of next week's encounter.
Thomas Tuchel's side, now needing to score at least once, will have to play a more attacking game than he would have probably liked.
Obliged to attack, they will take more risks.
Dortmund will leave more gaps at the back, playing right into Liverpool's hands.
The Reds have proven themselves to be most dangerous when catching opponents on the break, as seen in some slick performances this season, notably in the wins over Manchester City (4-1) and Chelsea (3-1).
The return fixture sets the stage for Liverpool's attacking players to deliver the crushing blow and end Dortmund's Europa League hopes.
Playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who was a nuisance in Dortmund's half, is capable of detecting the slightest of openings.
The impressive Emre Can is increasingly a reliable launchpad from midfield and in light of Jordan Henderson's latest injury, could be handed an even bigger role.
Adam Lallana, hardly to blame for Mats Hummels' 48th-minute equaliser, is likely to be called upon to produce his usual blend of tenacious and inventive play starting on the right flank.
Origi, who could have scored a second goal but for Roman Weidenfeller's wonder-save just before half-time, has proven himself to be the perfect lone striker.
His Man-of-the-Match performance has certainly put him in the driver's seat for a starting spot again.
Those who didn't play yesterday, like Sturridge and Roberto Firmino, will also be raring to go to make a difference.
Liverpool's defence clinched the team a marvellous result to take into the return leg.
It is the attacking players' turn to step up and finish the job.
We are not frightened. We have been to a lot of places and scored and won. We can score away goals too, and we can score more than one.
- Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel (above)
Klopp: Anfield will be spicy hot
Organisation was good, we were brave, disciplined, everything good. We were brilliant, to be honest. We showed what we are capable of.
- Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (above)
Juergen Klopp says Liverpool's 1-1 draw at his ex-club Borussia Dortmund has spiced up their Europa League quarter-final and predicts Anfield will light up for next Thursday's return leg.
Klopp's Reds grabbed a precious away goal when Liverpool striker Divock Origi netted in the first half before Dortmund captain Mats Hummels equalised with a bullet header.
"Now there's a real bit of spice in the tie, Anfield will be on fire, but we haven't got the feeling we're through," said Klopp, who produced his trademark pumped-fist sideline celebration when Origi scored.
"Dortmund are a pretty good side and everyone could see that, but we had our moments and we could have won the game.
"I'm fairly sure a lot of people thought we would lose two, three or four-nil, but at some moments we had Dortmund under pressure and around our goal we were brilliant.
"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 Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium, Klopp received a warm welcome, having walked away last May after seven years as Borussia coach.
During his reign, Dortmund won the 2011 Bundesliga title, the club's first league and cup double in 2012 and reached the 2013 Champions League final.
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. A lot of people had talked about me coming back, but when I came onto the pitch it was respectful applause and that's nice," he added."That's how it should be."
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said his side had not played the carefree football he had hoped for.
"Perhaps we gave them a few too many instructions before the game. We seemed too preoccupied," he said. "I had hoped we'd play with a few more smiles on a few lips."
Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who pulled off a great second-half save to deny Philippe Coutinho, said: "We'll lay out a plan for the Liverpool game to turn the result in our favour." - AFP.