Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel conceded his side were not at their “top level” after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Liverpool struck first and secured a vital away goal courtesy of Divock Origi just nine minutes before half-time at Signal Iduna Park.
But Tuchel’s men hit back in the second period, with Dortmund captain Mats Hummels’ header ensuring the tie is all square heading into next week’s return leg at Anfield.
While he was disappointed not to have secured victory, Tuchel believes Dortmund are still in a good position to progress to the semi-finals.
“We wanted to win of course but you have to get in that position and work for it,” the German coach told BT Sport.
“We worked hard but we were not on our top level today and if you’re not at your top level when you need to be – nine o’clock in the evening in the quarter finals – you don’t deserve to win.
“Liverpool played how we expected but we expected ourselves to be better, with a better rhythm. We took a long time to get into the game. We had a good chance [through Henrikh Mkhitaryan], almost a certain goal and we didn’t make it
“It got more difficult for us but we have to live with it. It is only half time.”
Tuchel said his side will go to Anfield without fear despite Liverpool scoring an away goal in Dortmund.
“[Origi’s goal] can be very important but we can score away goals as well and we can score more than one. We are not frightened and we are not too disappointed,” the 42-year-old said.
“We went to a lot of places and scored and won. Now it’s half-time but again the players are confident enough and have played a lot of tight matches and tough matches.
“We are looking forward to the game at Anfield. Before that we have a derby against Schalke so there’s enough to do.”