Borussia Dortmund seem to have the wind in their sails in the Europa League as they welcome their former coach’s Liverpool FC side in what has been dubbed the ‘Jurgen Klopp derby’.
After the draw, Klopp said of meeting his old club: “I am really happy to introduce my new team to Dortmund. I am really happy to show the boys this wonderful stadium and a great city. It’s a story only football can write.”
The teams have met three times in Uefa competition, with the record W1 D1 L1.
Most notably, Willi Multhaup’s Dortmund beat Bill Shankly’s Liverpool 2-1 after extra time in the 1966 European Cup Winners’ Cup final in Glasgow.
In the 2001/02 Champions League first group stage, Gérard Houllier’s Liverpool drew 0-0 with Matthias Sammer’s Dortmund in Germany then won the return leg 2-0 – with Phil Thompson in charge of the Reds while Houllier recuperated following heart surgery.
Dortmund’s overall record in 21 competitive matches against English opposition is W11 D4 L6 (W6 D3 L1 in Dortmund – W4 D1 L5 in England). They eliminated Tottenham Hotspur FC with back-to-back victories in this season’s round of 16.
Liverpool’s record in 34 games against German sides is W16 D12 L6 (W12 D3 L0 at home – W2 D8 L5 in Germany – W2 D1 L1 on neutral territory). They landed their first European trophy by beating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1973 Uefa Cup final and overcame the same opponents in the 1977 European Champion Clubs’ Cup decider.
Dortmund have won all four of their Europa League fixtures since the start of the knockout phase, conceding just once in the process. They have won six of their seven European home matches this season, the lone defeat a 1-0 reverse at home to PAOK FC in their closing group stage game.
Dortmund have won seven of their ten fixtures since the start of the group stage; one more than any other team in this season’s competition.
Liverpool, who overcame Manchester United FC in the round of 16, have drawn over half of their ten Europa League matches this term (W4 D6 – W1 D4 away from home), and are one of three sides yet to lose in this season’s UEFA Europa League proper along with AC Sparta Praha and round of 32 entrants FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
Prior to this campaign, Dortmund had not featured in the Europa League since an unsuccessful group stage foray in 2010/11. They were twice losing Uefa Cup finalists, succumbing to Juventus in 1993 and Feyenoord in 2002.
Liverpool lost to Besiktas JK on penalties in last year’s round of 32 and to FC Zenit at the same stage of their previous UEFA Europa League adventure, in 2012/13. The 1973, 1976 and 2001 Uefa Cup winners last made it to the quarter-finals in 2009/10, ousting SL Benfica en route to a semi-final loss against Atletico Madrid.
Links and Trivia
The journey from Liverpool to Dortmund is around 750km.
Athletic Club’s Aritz Aduriz is the top scorer in this Europa League campaign with eight goals; Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is his nearest rival with seven.
Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin spent five months on loan to Liverpool in 2012/13. He netted once in seven Premier League outings for the Reds, and played in four Europa League group stage games.
Shinji Kagawa made three appearances against Liverpool during his time at Manchester United (2012–14), winning all of them.
Liverpool’s Emre Can and Dortmund’s Gonzalo Castro were team-mates at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2013/14.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino has German league experience, having joined from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last summer. He scored twice in his ten matches against Dortmund in Germany (W3 D2 L5).
Only four of the players involved in the quarter-finals have played all 900 minutes of their sides’ campaigns: Villarreal CF’s Víctor Ruiz, Athletic’s Iago Herrerín, Sparta’s Costa and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Of the quarter-finalists, Liverpool (1973, 1976 and 2001), Sevilla (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015) and Shakhtar (2009) have won this competition before, while Athletic (1977 and 2012), SC Braga (2011) and Dortmund (1993 and 2002) have all lost in Uefa Cup and Europa League finals.
Dortmund are one of two clubs to have made it all the way from third qualifying round to quarter-finals this term, along with Athletic Club.
Dortmund have hit the woodwork ten times since matchday one – an average of once per game, and twice as many times as any other team in the competition this season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been responsible for five of those near-misses.
Should Dortmund capture the Europa League, they would become just the fifth club to have picked up all three major Uefa trophies (European Champion Clubs’ Cup/UEFA Champions League, Europa League/Uefa Cup and Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup) after AFC Ajax, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel is in his first term as Dortmund coach after replacing Jurgen Klopp last summer. Tuchel, 42, made his name during a five-year stint in charge of 1. FSV Mainz 05 (another of Klopp’s former clubs) but took 12 months out before assuming his current role.
Jurgen Klopp, 48, replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October. His Dortmund team won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final.