Match Report: Liverpool Vs AC Milan
A highly anticipated clash made for a sizzling encounter as Liverpool emerged victorious against AC Milan in their opening game of the 21/22 Champions League campaign on Wednesday. The thrilling match-up ended with a score-line of 3-2 as Jordan Henderson’s second-half strike ensured the hosts began their campaign with a victory.
Liverpool produced a high-octane start to the game as Jurgen Klopp’s men attacked the flanks and choked the opposition in their half, thus, creating golden opportunities early in the game. The visitors struggled to cope with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s adventurous runs into the attacking third and the Reds’ energetic football. Following constant pressure on the visitors’ back-line, Alexander-Arnold’s piercing run into space from the inner-right flank, in the 9th minute, resulted in the opening goal as the right-back shot on the front post took a deflection before the ball found the back of the net. Liverpool continued to apply pressure on Milan, who were nervous in possession and pinned in their half of the pitch.
The hosts were awarded a penalty following an unfortunate handball in the 13th minute, however, a double-save by Mike Maignan ensured he saved Mohamed Salah’s penalty and followed it by keeping out a close-range header by Andy Robertson at the back-post. Liverpool continued to create chances throughout the half before two strikes on the brink of half-time saw the visitors grab the lead, heading into the tunnel.
A quick build-up saw the visitors pass through Liverpool’s press as Ante Rebic produced a composed finish, coming in from the left flank, to beat Allison in goal for Liverpool in the 42nd minute. Milan shocked the crowd just two minutes later, after a driving run by Rafael Leao resulted in a shot at Allison, who failed to keep hold of the ball, resulting in an easy tap-in for Brahim Diaz in front of goal.
Liverpool began the second half with a renewed urgency as they continued to pressure the opposition and pin them in their own half. Both teams began energetically, though it was the hosts who found the equaliser in the 49th minute through Salah, who kept himself onside to get the better of Maignan in a 1v1 situation. Milan struggled to gain possession for the remainder of the game while the hosts continued their pursuit for a winning goal. The winner came in the form of a whistling half-volley from the edge of the box, following a corner by captain Jordan Henderson in the 69th minute, ensuring the Reds capitalized on their home support and grabbed the win in their opening leg of the campaign.
Liverpool travel to Portugal facing FC Porto in their next Champions League tie while AC Milan will look to bounce back when they host Atletico Madrid in their next fixture in the tournament.