'Brilliant' reds lose captain

Mats Hummels wheeling away in delight after heading past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for Dortmund's equaliser on Thursday.
Mats Hummels wheeling away in delight after heading past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for Dortmund's equaliser on Thursday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Klopp hails players' display in Dortmund but Henderson's injury tarnishes valuable draw

LONDON • Juergen Klopp hailed his players for "showing our Liverpool face" against Borussia Dortmund, but the valuable 1-1 draw in the Europa League quarter-final first leg came at a price.

Jordan Henderson suffered a knee injury that threatens his involvement at this summer's European Championship.

Divock Origi, preferred to Daniel Sturridge in attack, scored a precious away goal as Liverpool frustrated Dortmund during Klopp's return to his former club.

Mats Hummels levelled for Thomas Tuchel's team early in the second half to leave the tie finely balanced before next Thursday's second leg at Anfield.

Henderson was replaced at half-time by Joe Allen after he had landed awkwardly when jumping for a header late in the first half.

The Liverpool captain left Signal Iduna Park on crutches and will have a scan on Merseyside, amid concerns that he has damaged knee ligaments and could be sidelined for the remaining five weeks of the domestic season.

"It is really frustrating about Jordan," said Klopp. "Each team in the world needs a little bit of luck but it looks like we don't have it again.

"We hope for the best, but it doesn't look good."

He was otherwise satisfied with his team's performance but denied the result gave them an advantage ahead of the second leg.

"Dortmund don't care too much about where they are playing or where they score a goal. They are still in a very good position but it was very important for us to show our Liverpool face," the Reds manager said. "An away goal is really good, 100 per cent better than a 0-0, but we have to play at our best in the rematch."

Liverpool's manager insisted his decision to select Origi over Sturridge "was not too brave to be honest", adding: "It was nothing about Daniel. He has played the last games, it is completely normal. I know people say things about me taking him from the pitch after 60 minutes, but it is completely normal and now he is fresh for the game against Stoke.

"I am satisfied with a lot of our game. Our organisation was good, we were brave, organised, disciplined, and around the 1-0 we were brilliant to be honest, we showed what we are capable of.

"With a team like Dortmund with their quality, you cannot defend each pass so you need to avoid becoming frustrated in midfield, and fight and be organised instead.

"That's what we did. Dortmund weren't too clear in their performance in the second half. Always they changed things, so always we had to adapt... and that was not easy, but we did well."

Klopp will now relish the chance to better his team's performance in the second leg next week.

"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 the German.

"A 1-1 draw is a good result, but the chance of going through is still only 50-50."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline ''BRILLIANT' REDS LOSE CAPTAIN'. Print Edition | Subscribe