Football Features

Where are they now? Liverpool’s thrilling 4-3 Europa League win over Borussia Dortmund

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:23, 14 April 2020 | Updated: 13:27, 6 May 2020

Some fans look down on the Europa League and it is often a competition elite teams don’t want to take part in.

But over the years, the Europa League has thrown out some exciting matches including one in 2016 between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.

In Jurgen Klopp‘s first season as Liverpool manager, he led the Reds to a Europa League final, where they would eventually lose to Sevilla. But on the way, Klopp was drawn against former side Dortmund in a tie that will be hard to forget.

A 1-1 draw in the first leg left the tie evenly poised ahead of the return fixture at Anfield, although Liverpool did hold a slight advantage thanks to an away goal. That advantage was very quickly wiped out, though, with Dortmund taking a 2-0 lead into half-time, thanks to goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Liverpool managed to pull a goal back just after the break but Marco Reus appeared to have won the tie for Dortmund with just over 30 minutes to go, giving them a 3-1 lead on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.

The hosts responded once more with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mamadou Sakho but still looked set to go out on away goals as injury time approached. But that was until Dejan Lovren found the back of the net to send Anfield into raptures.

So, what has happened to the Liverpool team from that night? And what became of the Dortmund side? We’ve taken a look.

Liverpool

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet

Age: 32
Current club: Club Brugge

Signed from Sunderland in 2013, Simon Mignolet was Liverpool‘s number one goalkeeper at the time of the Dortmund clash, with Adam Bogdan and Danny Ward the other two challenging him.

Mignolet would remain as Liverpool‘s first choice shot-stopper until the 2017/18 season when he was usurped by Loris Karius. The arrival of Alisson in 2018 ended Mignolet’s chances of winning back his spot, although he stayed an extra year before joining Club Brugge last summer.

Right-back: Nathaniel Clyne

Age: 29
Current club: Liverpool

The 2015/16 season was Nathaniel Clyne’s first as a Liverpool player, having joined from Southampton. Throughout the campaign, the Englishman was the Reds‘ first choice right-back, taking over from Glen Johnson.

Clyne enjoyed another full season as Klopp’s to-go right-back before injuries put his career on a downward trajectory. The 29-year-old, overtaken by Joe Gomez and then Trent Alexander-Arnold, was sent out on loan to Bournemouth in January 2019 and he enjoyed a decent run of games. He has since returned to Liverpool, but is again sidelined by injury problems.

Centre-back: Dejan Lovren

Age: 30
Current club: Liverpool

The hero of the night, Dejan Lovren has often received criticism from Liverpool fans and pundits alike for making key mistakes over the years.

But the Croatian remains part of Klopp’s Liverpool side currently chasing the Premier League title, although he has seen his playing time severely restricted with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez ahead of him in the pecking order.

Centre-back: Mamadou Sakho

Age: 30
Current club: Crystal Palace

Another one of Liverpool’s goalscorers, Mamadou Sakho wouldn’t last much longer at Anfield after the 2015/16 season. The Frenchman was sent on loan to Crystal Palace in 2017 and the move was made permanent the following summer.

Sakho remains at Crystal Palace now but his 2019/20 campaign has been hit by injury problems.

Left-back: Alberto Moreno

Age: 27
Current club: Villarreal

Alberto Moreno never really settled at Liverpool after joining from Sevilla in 2014, although he was a frequent starter at left-back.

Even after Liverpool signed Andrew Robertson in the summer of 2017, Moreno remained first-choice left-back until an injury forced Klopp to turn his attention to the Scot. Robertson’s success effectively ended Moreno’s Liverpool career as he struggled to get back into the team upon his return to fitness, eventually being sold to Villarreal.

Central midfield: James Milner

Age: 34
Current club: Liverpool

Like Clyne, James Milner was signed by Liverpool at the start of the 2015/16 season, and the Englishman has gone on to become a key member of Klopp‘s successful side.

Over the years, Milner has performed a utility role, dropping to full-back at times when injuries have built up. He remains at Liverpool and, although his playing time has been scarce in the Premier League in 2019/20, he remains at the heart of the Reds‘ squad.

Central midfield: Emre Can

Age: 26
Current club: Borussia Dortmund (on loan from Juventus)

Another player who previously performed in a utility role for Liverpool, Emre Can spent four years at Anfield mostly in midfield or at centre-back.

Even in his final season, Can was a frequent starter for Klopp but the Germany international was still allowed to leave for Juventus on a free transfer. He has since been loaned to Liverpool’s 2016 opponents Dortmund, with the move set to be made permanent in the summer.

Right-wing: Adam Lallana

Age: 31
Current club: Liverpool

One of a handful of Southampton players to join Liverpool, Adam Lallana was one of the most highly-rated English midfielders upon his arrival at Anfield.

He was a frequent starter for Liverpool under Klopp, playing across the midfield including on the wing when required. But injury issues have stopped Lallana from hitting the heights many expected of him, restricting the midfielder to just nine Premier League starts since 2017/18.

Attacking midfield: Roberto Firmino

Liverpool vs Man Utd | Premier League

Age: 28
Current club: Liverpool

When Roberto Firmino first joined Liverpool, he was largely used as an attacking midfielder, playing just behind the striker.

But as the years have gone on, Firmino’s influence in attack grew and he has been the man picked to lead the line for Liverpool, enjoying a lot of success in the process. His understanding with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah has given Liverpool one of the most exciting front threes in football right now.

Left-wing: Philippe Coutinho

Age: 27
Current club: Bayern Munich (on loan from Barcelona)

During Klopp‘s early years as Liverpool manager, Philippe Coutinho was very much the star of the show, sometimes winning matches on his own in what was a difficult period for the Reds.

Even as they bolstered their squad, Coutinho remained a star man until his departure for Barcelona in 2018. Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Coutinho since that move, with the 27-year-old currently on loan at Bayern Munich and being linked with a return to the Premier League.

Striker: Divock Origi

Age: 24
Current club: Liverpool

Divock Origi has had a strange time at Liverpool, struggling to endear himself to the fans in the early stages of his career, as he often failed in front of goal.

But the Belgian wrote himself into Liverpool history books during the Reds‘ 2018/19 Champions League-winning campaign, scoring twice in the semi-final against Barcelona and netting again in the final win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Substitutes

Joe Allen

Age: 30
Current club: Stoke City

Signed from Swansea in 2012, Joe Allen was a decent member of the Liverpool squad under Brendan Rodgers, although he rarely set the world alight with his displays. Allen was sold to Stoke in 2016, after less than a season with Klopp in charge.

Daniel Sturridge

Age: 30
Current club: Unattached

Daniel Sturridge formed an excellent partnership with Luis Suarez during the 2013/14 campaign but struggled to replicate that under Klopp. After a loan spell with West Brom in 2018, Sturridge was sold to Trabzonspor last summer — but recently saw his contract terminated.

Lucas Leiva

Age: 33
Current club: Lazio

Lucas Leiva spent 10 years with Liverpool between 2007 and 2017, often as a starter in the midfield. However, in Lucas’ final season at Anfield he was restricted to appearances from the bench which led to his departure for Lazio.

Borussia Dortmund

Goalkeeper: Roman Weidenfeller

Age: 39
Current club: Retired

For fans of a certain age, it’ll be hard to think of a Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper that wasn’t Roman Weidenfeller — such was his domination of the number one jersey. The German spent 16 years with the club, helping them to two Bundesliga titles before retiring in 2018.

Right-back: Lukasz Piszczek

Age: 34
Current club: Dortmund

Like Weidenfeller, Piszczek has become synonymous with Dortmund over the years, making the right-back spot his own. The Polish full-back is still at Dortmund but has filled in at centre-back this season, with Lucien Favre switching to a three-man central defence.

Centre-back: Sokratis

Age: 31
Current club: Arsenal

At one point it looked hard to break up the Dortmund defensive partnership of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels, but Sokratis did exactly that, linking up with the latter.

The Greek’s fine performances for Dortmund, including after Hummels left for Bayern Munich, earned him a move to Arsenal in 2018 where he is currently a first-choice centre-back.

Centre-back: Mats Hummels

Age: 31
Current club: Dortmund

The 2015/16 campaign was Hummels’ final one for Dortmund before his move to Bayern, having spent eight years in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Hummels’ return to Bavaria — having come through Bayern’s academy — lasted just three years with the German giants struggling to improve their Champions League standings. The centre-back rejoined Dortmund last summer.

Left-back: Marcel Schmelzer

Age: 32
Current club: Dortmund

Marcel Schmelzer is Dortmund through and through, having come through the club’s academy, and he still remains part of the squad in 2019/20.

However, over the past few years the left-back has had to make do with a dwindling role due to injury problems and the performances of Achraf Hakimi.

Central midfielder: Gonzalo Castro

Age: 32
Current club: Stuttgart

The 2015/16 campaign was Gonzalo Castro’s first with Dortmund having signed from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

Castro went straight into the midfield and kept a consistent place in the team for two seasons before a third brought less game time. As a result, Castro was allowed to leave for VfB Stuttgart, tasting relegation with the club and now playing in 2. Bundesliga.

Central midfielder: Julian Weigl

Age: 24
Current club: Benfica

Another player enjoying his first season as a Dortmund man in 2015/16, Julian Weigl was just 20 at the time of the Liverpool tie but already looked to be a big part of the German club.

Weigl remained a Dortmund player and a consistent starter until his sale to Benfica in January 2020.

Right-winger: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Age: 31
Current club: Roma (on loan from Arsenal)

At the time of the match with Liverpool, Dortmund had an extremely talented front line, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He opened the scoring in the second leg at Anfield, adding to his 23 goals for the season, and that form ultimately earned the Armenian a move to Manchester United that summer.

Mkhitaryan spent just 18 months at United before joining Arsenal, but failed to make an impact and is now on loan at Roma.

Attacking midfielder: Shinji Kagawa

Age: 31
Current club: Real Zaragoza

Shinji Kagawa was in his second spell at Dortmund when they faced Liverpool, having spent two seasons with Manchester United between 2012 and 2014.

The Japanese midfielder made 216 appearances for Dortmund in total, before being sold to Real Zaragoza last summer.

Left-winger: Marco Reus

Age: 30
Current club: Dortmund

Another Mr. Dortmund, Marco Reus has become key to the image of the club since joining from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012.

Primarily an attacking midfielder, Reus moved further up the pitch as time went on, spearheading Dortmund’s attack under Lucien Favre.

Striker: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Age: 30
Current club: Arsenal

Completing the mouthwatering attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang built his reputation during an excellent spell with Dortmund spanning five years.

He eventually left the club in January 2018 for Arsenal and is now a key player for the Gunners, often rescuing them from poor situations with his goals.

Substitutes

Matthias Ginter

Age: 26
Current club: Borussia Monchengladbach

Mattias Ginter spent three years at Dortmund, joining from SC Freiburg in 2014, largely playing at centre-back but also moving into the midfield and right-back at times.

He was sold to Monchengladbach in 2017 and has been crucial in the club’s hopes of moving up the Bundesliga table, starting at centre-back.

Ilkay Gundogan

Age: 29
Current club: Manchester City

It was perhaps a strange choice to start Ilkay Gundogan on the bench at Anfield, as the Germany international was one of the most highly sought-after midfielders in world football at the time – having grown his profile at Dortmund.

Shortly after, Manchester City won the fight for Gundogan’s signature and he remains a big member of Pep Guardiola’s squad, although his playing time isn’t as high as some would have hoped, such is the competition for places.

Adrian Ramos

Age: 34
Current club: America de Cali

Adrian Ramos spent three years at Dortmund but never really made a mark at the club. The Colombian spent a loan spell with Granada in January 2017 and, after being sold to Chinese club Chongqing Lifan, he returned to Spain on another temporary move.

Ramos eventually joined Granada permanently but later made the move to America de Cali in his native country, in January 2020.

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