Borussia Dortmund put their European campaign firmly back on track with a 3-1 win over Napoli on Tuesday, shrugging off talk of a crisis after three straight defeats with a performance reminiscent of last season’s superb run to the final.
Coach Jurgen Klopp had nothing but praise for his team’s ability to recover from its worst run of form since 2010, while missing an entire first-choice defense through injury.
“We want to continue living our Champions League dream despite all the prophecies of doom,” Klopp told reporters. “It all looks better now but we still need to win in Marseille.”
Speaking about Armenian Midfielder Hentikh Mkhitaryan, the coach said “Miki showed an exceptional performance.”
“He has to learn an incredible amount of new things – apart from a different mentality a different and more dominant style of play. But Miki is a faster learner than other signings of recent years. It’s a process of development. Tonight, just like in the Derby, he stepped on the gas. He’s a difference maker. And tonight he made the difference. We now have to make sure to see him play like that in as many games as possible,” Klopp said, according to the club’s official website.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Mkhitaryan said: “I think it was a great performance from Borussia Dortmund. All my team-mates did a great job. We needed to win this game because we lost our last three, so we had to win tonight. I would have liked to have scored but I was not able to and there is nothing I can do about it. I have to keep working and not give up. I need to do my best to help the team. It is not important whether I score or not, the most important thing is that the team win.”
“We created a lot of chances, even when the score was 2-1 because there were more spaces in the Napoli defense. We were able to counterattack more, which we managed to do and scored the third. We are really confident [about progressing] but Marseille are a really difficult opponent. It does not matter that they have lost all their games. They will be doing everything they can to get a point, or even three, against us but we know how to play against them and I think we can get a result,” the Armenian midfielder said, according to Uefa.com.