Klopp backs Mkhitaryan to regain scoring touch

On a day of comebacks Borussia Dortmund ensured they finished top of Group D in the UEFA Champions League and are now eagerly awaiting the draw for the last 16 which takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday. Before that, however, there is the small matter of a match in Berlin. In the hunt for Bundesliga points, Jürgen Klopp has seen more than just good preparations, according to the club’s official website.

He was “very happy with large parts of the game”, the coach said as part of his post-match analysis. The only criticism he had for his team, and which has been a problem for several weeks now, is their inability to convert their chances. Only one goal was scored from eleven chances.

After a subdued first half in which Dortmund created three chances and the visitors had two golden opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, a BVB side which contained six changes came out for the first 25 minutes of the second half like a freight train. They took the lead during this period with a strong move by Ciro Immobile, who delayed his shot to wrongfoot Deschacht and slot home. They failed, however, to add to their lead.  Henrikh Mkhitaryan in particular held his hands to his head. The Armenian did so many things right and was at times outstanding but lacked that little bit of luck in front of goal.

“I’m completely satisfied with his performance,” said the coach, adding: “Miki is an incredibly important player for us. It’s through his play that he ends up in situations where he can score goals. It’s just not quite coming off for him right now.” Klopp is advising his highly talented but sensitive player to “stay cool and not alter his game. There’ll come a day when he’ll score not just once but two or three times.”

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