Friday, March 18, 2016 4:41 pm
Contrary to the wish of Coach Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool will play Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals of Europa League.
The tie will mark a return for the Premier League side’s manager Juergen Klopp against his former club, that he wanted badly to avoid at this stage.
Sevilla, the winners for the past two seasons, meanwhile face Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao in the draw made in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.
The tie will be another all-Spanish duel for Athletic, who put out Valencia in the last 16.
Shakhtar Donetsk, the 2009 winners, meet Portugal’s Sporting Braga, while Villarreal play Sparta Prague.
Dortmund host Liverpool in the first leg on April 7 before the return leg on April 14 in the pick of the last-eight meetings.
It’s another Premier League opponent for Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund side, who put out Tottenham in the previous round, while Liverpool ousted Manchester United.
Klopp led Dortmund to two league titles and took them into the final of the 2013 Champions League before leaving at the end of last season.
Dortmund defender Neven Subotic said it would be “very exciting to see Kloppo again.”
“I trained with him for nine years and he has done very well there – he has changed the team – and I’m obviously excited to play against his new team. It’s definitely going to be nice to see him again,’’ he said.
Tuchel said they were however not complaining.
“We want to measure ourselves against the best and we are again meeting a top opponent (after Porto and Tottenham in the previous knock-out rounds). For all football fans, it is a dream draw.”
Club Chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said the tie would be “something quite special’’ for Klopp.
“We were in any case sure we would be meeting the Reds at some point in this competition and now look forward to these two extremely attractive international duels.”
The last time the two teams met in Europe was at the Champions League first group stage in 2001-2002, when they finished goalless in Dortmund before Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield.
They also met in the final of 1966 European Cup Winners’ Cup, when Dortmund won 2-1 at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
Liverpool also have happy memories of playing at the Westfalenstadion after winning the 2001 UEFA Cup there against Spanish side Alaves.
Sevilla technical director Monchi said he was unhappy at facing another Spanish side in Athletic Bilbao.
“We’re going to play a real in-form side. We will have to fight all the way to progress,” he said.
Villarreal coach Marcelino said: “We wanted either Braga or Sparta and we got lucky.
“But now we have to work hard and be lucky in the tie. No side is easy at this stage of the competition. We need to remember Dnipro last season.
“They knocked Napoli out and then got to the final. We need to pay attention to the small details that helped us past Napoli and Leverkusen.”
The ties are on April 7 and 14, with the semi-finals on April 28 and May 5, and the final in Basel, Switzerland on May 18.