FRANKFURT: Jurgen Klopp and his old club Borussia Dortmund emerged with honours diplomatically even after striker Divock Origi struck the away goal which earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw in the Ruhr against Borussia Dortmund in their Europa League quarter-final first leg.
The focus on Klopp could hardly have been greater on his first return to Signal Iduna Park after leaving in May so it was difficult for the scrutiny to increase with his decision to start with the 20-year-old Belgian in place of his No1 striker Daniel Sturridge.
Origi scored his first goal since February and the most important in his short Liverpool career so far in the 36th minute.
Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels’ header just after half-time gave the hosts a draw which, on balance, they deserved but a composed, controlled European away performance for Liverpool has given them hope of progressing at Anfield next week against a side Klopp rates as among the top five in the world.
Substitute Vicente Iborra struck seven minutes from time to keep Sevilla on course for a third straight Europa League title after a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao.
The visitors fell behind to an Aritz Aduriz opener but a quick equaliser from Timothee Kolodziejczak then Iborra’s late winner gave Unai Emery’s men the advantage heading into their quarter-final second leg.
Shakhtar Donetsk soaked up pressure from Braga to take a 2-1 away win in the first leg of their quarter-final.
Braga had the best of the first period, but Shakhtar went ahead against the run of play just before half-time through Yaroslav Rakitskiy, who was an injury doubt before the match.
The second period at the Estadio Municipal de Braga proved more equal in terms of chances, and the visitors again took one of theirs, this time through Facundo Ferreyra.
Although substitute Wilson Eduardo pulled a goal back late on, Braga will have their work cut out to turn the tie around in next Thursday’s second leg in Ukraine.
The in-form Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal took a 2-1 first-leg lead in their quarter-final against Sparta Prague.
Bakambu’s third-minute opener was cancelled out in first-half stoppage time by Jakub Brabec to leave the scores level at the break.
But he struck again just after the hour – his seventh goal in six games – to give his side a slender advantage to take to the Czech capital.