Opinion: Bitter only for BVB | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 15.04.2016
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Opinion: Bitter only for BVB

Klopp's Liverpool knock Borussia Dortmund out of the Europa League in a game that will live long in the memory. In the eyes of DW's Stefan Nestler, the dramatic comeback was a prime advertisement for modern football.

It barely gets any crazier than that. Borussia Dortmund lead Liverpool 2-0 at the break and everything was virtually done and dusted with a 1-1 first-leg result. BVB already had one-and-a-half feet in the semifinal. A little slip-up soon followed, with Klopp's side hauling themselves back into contention at 2-1 - only for Dortmund to restore their two-goal lead once more. Jürgen Klopp raged on the sideline, furious at his defense for dozing off to the danger posed by Mats Hummels.

Nestler Stefan Kommentarbild App

DW's Stefan Nestler enjoyed the fairytale fightback

Half an hour remained, with the Reds in need of three goals. The former BVB coach had no other option but to play his remaining cards. On came striker Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Joe Allen, and the game really did start to turn, first 3-2, and then the Liverpool equalizer. In the 90th minute, Reds fans launched another rendition of club hymn "You'll Never Walk Alone," almost as if they wanted to convey to the players: "You've given your best, don't beat yourselves up if it's not quite enough!" Then, in stoppage time, Croatian defender Dejan Lovren headed home the winner at the back post. Liverpool reach the semifinal, BVB go home. Incredible!

A game long to be remembered

The explanation for Dortmund's quarterfinal defeat can only be that they themselves no longer believed that this tie could slip out of their grasp. Once it came to pass, it was too late to do anything about it. For Jürgen Klopp to manage such a coup against his old flame Dortmund was a tale to challenge any novelist's creativity. However, his manuscript would probably have been returned to sender, with a single annotation: "The ending simply isn't credible."

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Even if all in the stadium and watching on televisions at home may have rubbed their eyes in disbelief, it was real and - forgive me, BVB fans - it was fantastic. This Anfield evening showed why football is so dearly loved all over the world: precisely because of these unexpected, sensational stories that will live in the memory for weeks, if not years.

Klopp found the right words afterwards on German TV: "Hard to believe that this happened." Perhaps the joy surrounding this is so great, in part, because football has become more predictable in recent years. The gap between wealthy and less-wealthy teams continues to widen. In most countries, putting aside this season's unpredictable Premiership campaign, only a few clubs remain that can truly challenge for the title. This can take the thrill out of some ties, also in European competition. But then, as if out of nothing, you see almost surreal experiences like last night's match in Liverpool. They leave everybody - even deflated Dortmund fans - saying: "Incredible! What a game!"

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