Liverpool fans were hopeful heading into last Thursday’s Europa League tie with Borussia Dortmund, but few would have called themselves confident. Taking on the Bundesliga’s second best side, it was clear the Reds were underdogs.
A stirring performance, though, means they head into the second leg at Anfield this week favourites to advance to the semi-finals, and James Milner says it’s the kind of game he was looking forward to when he chose to sign with Liverpool last summer.
"When I came to Liverpool, it was about playing more games and joining a great club, but I wanted to be part of something and win trophies as well," said the Reds’ stand-in captain. "We’re capable of that and have shown we can beat anyone on our day.
"Not many teams go to Dortmund and get a result like we did, so it was a good effort and the goal puts us in a good position for the second leg. European nights at Anfield are special, and we want to finish the job and get one step closer to silverware."
Liverpool followed up their strong showing at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion with a 4-1 dismantling of Stoke City at Anfield, and they head into Thursday’s match as confident as they’ve been at any point this season. Still, the tie is far from over.
Dortmund are second in the Bundesliga for good reason, and all it will take will be one goal from the Germans to shift the advantage straight back in their favour. Liverpool played well in the first leg, but they’ll need another good 90 minutes to finish it.
"It would be a great achievement winning a European trophy," Milner added, "but first there are a couple of big hurdles. You have to beat the best to win and we have given ourselves a chance. We have put ourselves in a good position to finish the job."