UEFA Europa League
Anfield, Liverpool, England
Liverpool came from two goals down in the second-leg of their Europa League quarter-final to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on the night and win 5-4 on aggregate.
Four crucial second-half goals from the Reds ensured they would progress into the Semi-finals after Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had earlier given the visitors a 2-0 lead. Marco Reus added a third away goal before the hour-mark after Divock Origi had pulled a goal back, to all but put the Germans into the last-four. However, goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mamadou Sakho before an injury-time header from Dejan Lovren gave the Merseyside club an emphatic victory and meant that it was the Reds, instead, who progressed into the next round.
The visitors were in the ascendancy from the first whistle and went close after two minutes when Aubameyang turned his man to curl an effort just wide of the post.
Three minutes later the visitors took the lead. Coutinho gifted possession to the visitors and they made him pay. A Gonzalo Castro cross found Aubameyang whose header was well saved by Simon Mignolet before Mkhitaryan fired home the rebound. It was a precious away goal too, meaning the Reds needed two.
Four minutes later the visitors doubled their lead. Reus surged forward evading challenge after challenge before finding Aubameyang, who fired high into the top-corner from a tight-angle, meaning Liverpool needed another three.
In the 20th minute the hosts had a fantastic chance to pull a goal back when Roberto Firmino’s cutback made its way to Adam Lallana but he miscued his effort, swinging and missing the ball completely.
Four minutes later they went close again when James Milner did brilliantly well to find a cross that fell to Origi, but the Belgian could only fire wide of the post.
In the 35th minute the visitors nearly made it three. Reus was found on the left flank but he opted to square to Aubameyang who fired wide on the stretch.
Two minutes later the hosts nearly reduced the deficit. Coutinho played a nice one-two with compatriot Firmino who gave it back to Coutinho who fired a snapshot narrowly wide via a deflection.
Two minutes before the break the visitors went close when a Mkhitaryan cross was met by former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa whose effort at the near-post was well gathered by Mignolet.
Three minutes into the restart, the hosts reduced the deficit. Emre Can played Origi through on-goal and the Belgian did the rest slotting through the legs of Roman Weidenfeller. Liverpool needed two more again.
Nine minutes later, however, the visitors got their third of the game. Reus was played through by his skipper Mats Hummels, and with just Mignolet to beat, the German international curled home into the far-corner to score what the German side thought would be the crucial goal. The third away goal meant Liverpool needed three without reply.
That task was made easier nine minutes later when Coutinho exchanged a nice give and go from Milner, who found the Brazilian again outside the box, and he brilliantly curled home beyond Weidenfeller. The goal meant Liverpool now needed two.
The Reds had their tails up and went close a minute later when Origi curled an effort just over the bar.
Ten minutes later the Reds were level on aggregate. Despite yet another poor delivery from a corner, substitute Daniel Sturridge’s presence proved to be too much to deal with for the visitors and Sakho nipped in to head the ball home. The visitors still had the away goal advantage and meant that the Reds required another goal.
Six minutes later they had a great opportunity to get their much needed goal. A freekick won by Sturridge fell to Lovren who saw the headlines and audaciously volleyed into Row z.
There were four additional minutes to be played and in the first of those, the Reds got their goal. Sturridge found Milner who sent in a fantastic cross into the back-post for Lovren, who headed home to atone for his earlier effort and complete the comeback.
Although Liverpool had the lead, the visitors knew that if they scored they would go through on away goals and they had the perfect opportunity in the final minute of added time when Marcel Schmelzer was fouled outside the area. Substitute Ilkay Gündogan stepped up to take it but fortunately for the hosts, it curled wide.
That was the last action of the match as Liverpool came back in similar fashion to their Champions League Final victory in Istanbul in 2005 to beat the tournament favourites Dortmund.
The result meant that the Reds progress into the last-four with Dortmund bowing out.