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Published: 22:11 | 7/4/16

Liverpool earn draw at Borussia Dortmund

Solid performance in Klopp return to old club

Liverpool have a slight advantage in their Europa League quarter-final tie with Borussia Dortmund after securing a 1-1 draw in the first leg in front of 65,000 raucous fans at the Westfalenstadion.

Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead with a neat finish from the edge of the penalty area on 36 minutes, but Mats Hummels headed Dortmund level three minutes into the second half.

The German side enjoyed plenty of possession after that but rarely threatened as Jurgen Klopp's side were rewarded for a solid performance with a well-deserved draw.

Dortmund had made short work of Tottenham in the previous round, but they were unable to repeat that in Klopp's first return to the club he left at the end of last season.

The home side started brightly could have been ahead in the 17th minute when Marcel Schmelzer got in behind the Liverpool defence. He cut the ball back for the on-rushing Henrikh Mkhitaryan to shoot from ten yards, but Mamadou Sakho reacted bravely to block his goal-bound effort.

Dejan Lovren had an excellent chance shortly afterwards when he met James Milner's floated free-kick at the far post, but his header lacked conviction and Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was able to make the save.

The German side continued to take the game to the visitors, but the Liverpool defence looked solid in thwarting the considerable threat posed by Marco Reus and Patrick Aubameyang.

The latter had a 30-yard free-kick effort deflected inches wide just before the half hour mark after Sakho had fouled Reus.

But Liverpool were ahead on 36 minutes when Milner flicked on Alberto Moreno's lofted ball forward into the path of Origi who evaded the attentions of the Dortmund defence before shooting low past Weidenfeller from the edge of the penalty area.

Lovren made a superb block to deny Aubameyang what would have been his 37th goal of the season in all competitions as the game headed into stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Simon Mignolet was then forced to react quickly to deny Reus from the resulting corner, before Weidenfeller denied Origi a second goal with a superb point-blank block before the referee finally brought a high quality, high octane first half to a close.

Dortmund were level within three minutes from the restart as Liverpool's achilles heel of defending corners came back to haunt them once again as the towering Hummels took advantage of a mismatch with Adam Lallana inside the six-yard box to head Mkhitaryan's whipped cross past Mignolet.

But Liverpool responded well and Weidenfeller was forced to produce three good saves within a minute to deny Philippe Coutinho, then Nathaniel Clyne and finally Coutinho again as the visitors exposed some serious weakness in the home defence.

The pace slowed somewhat as the second half progressed as Dortmund began to apply prolonged pressure and the Liverpool defence were forced to sit deeper.

The Bundesliga side continued to dominate but, despite that, Mignolet remained a mere spectator for long periods as central defence pairing Sakho and Lovren snuffed out any goal threat.

Liverpool saw out the closing minutes without alarm to secure a well-deserved draw and give themselves a slight advantage going into the second leg at Anfield next week.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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