Dejan Lovren was the hero as Liverpool secured a dramatic 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on Thursday, securing their place in the Europa League semi-finals.
The Croatian defender hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest of rides since joining Liverpool from Southampton in 2014 but his last-gasp winner gives him immediate cult status.
And to prove that, the name ‘Dejan’ might just be propping up more around Merseyside.
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Radio stations were inundated with calls following the game but the best came from Michael, a Liverpool fan who welcomed the birth of his new son during the game.
Michael watched the game from the hospital waiting room and afterwards called BBC Five Live to say: “I’m going to call him Dejan. This is the greatest day of my life. I am Liverpool Football Club,” per Goal.
Now, we’re not quite sure if the occasion simply got to Michael’s head or if he actually went through with his plan.
His wife probably needed convincing but if she’s also a Liverpool fan, she might have agreed.
Lovren will never have to buy a beer in Liverpool again after he headed home James Milner’s cross in the 91st minute, sending Anfield into a frenzy.
His goal completed a terrific comeback that is up there with the greatest games in European history.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Dortmund a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes and, though Divock Origi reduced the deficit three minutes after half-time, the tie looked over when Marco Reus restored the German side’s two-goal advantage in the 57th minute.
But Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Lovren had other ideas, their goals in a stunning 24-minute salvo securing Liverpool’s place in the last-four.
Thursday night will live long in the memory
Jurgen Klopp has now overseen two memorable European nights at Anfield following the 2-0 win over Manchester United in February but it’ll surely be a long time before Thursday’s game is surpassed.
The former Dortmund boss admitted he could “smell” Liverpool finding their way back into the game when Origi scored his goal and, though Reus scored moments later, the Liverpool fans inside the stadium spurred the team on to victory.
“They did it and made it 2-1,” Klopp said after the game, per Liverpool’s website. “I think even before 2-1, we had a chance and two or three really good moments but didn’t score.
“Then we scored and then everyone could see something happen in the stadium. You could feel it, you could hear, you could smell it.
“We had more bad moments in the game, we had to react more often in difficult, difficult things in the game, but then to score the fourth goal it was strange. It was a long time before I was sure the ball was in – but obviously it was until somebody tells me something else!"