Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel has expressed his bitter disappointment after his side was eliminated from the Europa League.
Dortmund lost 4-3 to the Reds on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash at Anfield, a result which saw them go down 5-4 on aggregate.
Dortmund were up 2-0 within the first 10 minutes after goals from Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. However, Liverpool reduced the deficit in the 48th minute courtesy of an effort from Divock Origi before BVB restored their two-goal advantage when Marco Reus scored with a curling effort in the 57th minute.
Despite being two goals once more, the Reds came roaring back, and goals from Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren saw them stun Dortmund and advance to the semi-finals.
Speaking after the match, Tuchel said that his side paid the price for failing to extend their advantage when 2-0 up.
“There was no individual part of the puzzle that did not fit. Actually a lot worked very well today,” he told reporters. “After falling behind early Liverpool had to take a lot of risks. We were on the verge of taking a three-goal lead on several occasions.
“It’s the small details that count, the cross-field passes, the passes into the gaps. If we had made it 3-0 then it would have probably been all over, but as it was Liverpool were always in it. We were missing the confidence and the presence to calm the game down after they pulled back to 3-2 and to perform against our opponent. At a certain point they were completely driven by emotion.
“Ultimately we were hit by a late sucker punch from the opposition. S*** happens.”
Tuchel conceded that he was disappointed that his side failed to show more fight when Liverpool began to claw their way back into the match, inaction which resulted in their exit from the competition when a semi-final berth was beckoning.
“It feels very sobering. Now we feel very, very empty,” he said. “We were on the verge of a major aim, a real milestone: overcoming Liverpool at Anfield in a knockout match. We must face the fact that we did not manage it.
“We must be fair and admit that after going 3-1 up we no longer coped with how much risk Liverpool were playing with. The trust in our ways of operating was no longer so high, especially under stress and pressure. And thus the worst-case scenario occurred.
“We had a significant cushion but lost the second half 4-1. That is far below the standards that we set ourselves.”