Liverpool added another fairytale comeback to the history books as they fought back from 3-1 down against Borussia Dortmund to reach the Europa League semi-finals when Dejan Lovren's stoppage-time winner secured an astonishing 4-3 win on Thursday (14 April).
Lovren rose at the far post to head home in the first minute of added time, recalling memories of Liverpool's 2005 Champions League final comeback against AC Milan and propelling them into the last four with a 5-4 aggregate victory. After the game, Klopp praised the character of his players and said the remarkable victory was no more than they deserved.
"Dortmund leading 3-1. So, then, really, that is the moment in football and in life where you have to show character. That is what the lads did and that was pretty cool to watch. So at the end, of course, to come back in the game like this against highest-quality opponent and to win, you need a little bit of luck. I think everybody who was part of the game, who saw the game, has to say at the end that it was deserved," said Klopp, post-match.
Liverpool will face Villarreal in the semi-final, after the Spanish club beat Sparta Prague 4-2 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate. Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine beat Braga 4-0 at home to complete a 6-1 aggregate triumph. They will face the holders Sevilla, who are bidding for a third straight title, after they completed a narrow victory over Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao, having been taken to penalties.
Klopp however, speaking before Friday's draw, chose to focus his attention on what he called a "brilliant, outstanding, wonderful, emotional" night at Anfield. "We played a brilliant game and now, 100%, we will get a really strong opponent in the semi-final and then we have to be there again, everybody, to be as fit as possible and try again. But for tonight, it was brilliant, outstanding, wonderful, emotional, everything. I will not forget it of course because it is special and now we have to carry on and try to do things like this more often," he said.
His opposite number, Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, was at a loss to explain how his team threw away such a dominant position. "If you expect an explanation then I probably have to disappoint you," said a shellshocked Tuchel.