What an advertisement for the Europa League. For neutrals, this was the most they could've asked for. However, not all of us are neutrals, and this one hurt. Normally, I try to write post match pieces in third person, but this time it just isn't possible.
This is pain that I'm not sure even Arsenal fans have experienced, especially in a game of this magnitude. It started off so well, two goals in the first ten minutes. The second goal came through an amazing ball from Reus, after a brilliant run that we haven't seen from him in recent times. Aubameyang finished superbly, another thing we haven't seen lately, and we looked in control for the first ten minutes. Liverpool responded well and had many chances to get a goal back before halftime, an ominous sign.
I was thinking "Get to halftime without conceding, and we'll advance". I was quite wrong. Liverpool started the second half well, and scored through Divock Origi, who's really becoming an effective striker under Klopp.
Dortmund responded well, and it was Hummels who played a brilliant ball to Marco Reus to make it 3-1. At that point, nearly everyone thought it was over. Dortmund seemingly decided to stop defending, and allowed Countinho to pull one more back for Liverpool through a brilliant strike.
For defensive reinforcement, Tuchel brought on Matthias Ginter, and took off Shinji Kagawa. Ginter unfortunately isn't Dortmund's most assuring defender, so it came as no surprise when he let the ball bounce right past him to the head of Sakho off a corner for the equalizing goal.
Even now, with the scores level, it was Liverpool who were heading out. Dortmund needed to defend well, and try to control the game as much as they could. In what rarely seems to be a good idea, they decided to just soak up the rest of the pressure for ten minutes. It worked until the 90th minute, when Liverpool became desperate and threw everyone forward.
A clever free kick routine set up Sturridge, who megged a Dortmund defender to find Milner. Milner crossed it to Dejan Lovren, a center back, and he headed it home. Adrian Ramos was the man in charge of marking Lovren, and did he ever fail. Lovren towered over Ramos, and won the header. For being a tall and lanky striker, I've seen Ramos fail terribly going for some headers.
From the 66th minute on, I was fearing for Dortmund. They had it all coming, and it was some terrible defending that allowed the next two goals to be scored.
We'll have more on this later, but for now, we're eliminated, and I'm depressed.