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Klopp home bow nails Dortmund Europa place

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Dortmund fans bid farewell to head coach Juergen Klopp with oversized letters that read 'Danke Juergen' (lit. Thanks Juergen) prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen at Signal-Iduna-Park on Saturday.

Dortmund fans bid farewell to head coach Juergen Klopp with oversized letters that read ‘Danke Juergen’ (lit. Thanks Juergen) prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen at Signal-Iduna-Park on Saturday.

BERLIN, May 23- Borussia Dortmund earned the chance of a Europa League place next season with a 3-2 win over Werder Bremen as coach Jurgen Klopp signed off his final home game.

Dortmund finish seventh to go into the qualifiers for the Europa League, but can claim a direct place in the group stages if they beat Wolfsburg in next Saturday’s German Cup final in Berlin in Klopp’s final match as Borussia boss.

Klopp walks away after seven years in charge having won the 2011 and 2012 German league titles, plus steering Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final, and will be replaced next season by ex-Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel.

The 47-year-old can now sign off with the cup title he craves if they beat Wolfsburg in the Berlin cup final next Saturday.

“It was a great game, we had a good system and options galore, but I have no complaints, seventh place is the best we could have hoped for,” said Klopp, whose side were bottom of the table in February.

“It was an outstanding display, but the game summed up our season: we started really well, but lost out way and made things hard for ourselves.”

A five-minute long, pre-recorded video message from Klopp to Dortmund fans was screened at the Westfalenstadion after the final whistle and Klopp explained why.

“I learnt my lesson the last time I tried to give a prepared speech seven years ago when I left Mainz and could barely get the words out,” he said.

“I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. It was pure emotion out there.”

Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa profited from a superb pass by Ilkay Gundogan to score Dortmund’s first on 15 minutes.

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the hosts second to claim his 16th for the season, just two minutes later before Bremen pulled a goal back through midfielder Levin Oztunali on 26 minutes.

But Dortmund made sure of the win when Henrikh Mkhitaryan controlled Kagawa’s high pass to lob Bremen goalkeeper Koen Casteels to make it 3-1 just before the break.

Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie scored Bremen’s late second to set up a tense finale as Borussia held on.

Klopp was treated to a standing ovation after the final whistle, as was former Dortmund captain and Germany international Sebastian Kehl, 35, who will retire at the end of the season.

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