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Liverpool stun Dortmund in Europa League thriller

Soccer

Liverpool came from 3-1 down to edge Borussia Dortmund 4-3, while holders Sevilla reached the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday with a 5-4 penalty shootout win against visitors Athletic Bilbao.

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In a memorable, heart-stopping clash at Anfield, Liverpool recovered to edge Dortmund 4-3 in injury time, going through 5-4 on aggregate.

“Sport is about winning and we did not make it. You have to accept it and be an honourable loser so congratulations to Liverpool. You have to take defeat like a champion,” dejected Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said.

It was a game reminiscent of Liverpool’s Euro glory days in the 1970s, and it was a special triumph for Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp, who left Dortmund 10 months ago after a highly successful spell.

“It’s a great night not to forget,” a delighted Klopp said. “We fought back like devils and it is deserved – a little bit lucky, maybe.”

In an all-Spanish quarter-final second leg, the penalty shootout came after Bilbao had won 2-1 in Seville, levelling the tie at 3-3 to force extra time.

“I think we just about deserved to go through,” said Sevilla’s Kevin Gameiro, who slotted home the winning penalty after having scored for the hosts during normal time.

Villarreal and Shakhtar Donetsk reached the last four at the expense of Sparta Prague and Braga respectively.

Villarreal had a much easier night on the road than Dortmund, with an emphatic 4-2 win in Prague to advance with a comfortable 6-3 aggregate.

“We fully deserve to be in the semi-finals,” Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia said.

“We have won both of the matches, which is not easy against tough opponents like Sparta.”

Shakhtar thumped Braga 4-0 to cruise through 6-1 on aggregate.

Sevilla won the (then) UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007 and the Europa League trophy in 2014 and 2015.

DPA

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