Borussia Dortmund concluded preparations for Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Liverpool at Anfield with a training session at a local non-league ground.
Having trained at Anfield, one of the most recognisable stadiums in world football, for their pre-match open workout on Wednesday, Thomas Tuchel’s squad decamped to the home of Marine Football Club for a final tune-up.
The Arriva Stadium in Crosby, Merseyside, typically plays hosts to matches in the Northern Premier League – the seventh tier of English football.
But Tuchel and stars such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan and Shinji Kagawa took to the pitch for a practice stint that Marine chairman Paul Leary initially wrote off as an April Fools prank.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) April 14, 2016
Leary told the Liverpool Echo: “When the e-mail landed from Borussia Dortmund, it was April 1. We got the request asking if they could use our facilities for a training session on the morning of the game, and I had to say ‘look, if this is an April Fools’ joke then stop now’.
“But it’s great for the club and the local area, to have these players here. It’s been a stressful couple of weeks worrying about the logistics and what not, but I can relax now. They did an hour on the pitch, the full squad, and then off they went.”
Leary added: “I did ask them if they could maybe loan us a couple of players for our next crucial league game, but I had to make do with a signed shirt!”
— Marine Football Club (@MarineAFC) April 14, 2016
Liverpool and Dortmund are level at 1-1 heading into Thursday’s match having played out a draw in last week’s first leg at Signal Iduna Park.