Liverpool 3 AC Milan 2: Henderson’s brilliant volley seals another Reds comeback vs Italians in Anfield thriller
IT may not fairly have been the Miracle of Istanbul nonetheless this belting opener in the Champions League Group of Death served up two comebacks for the worth of 1.
Jordan Henderson hammered a brilliant winner as Liverpool overturned a half-time deficit, having themselves been shocked by a two-goal blast from Milan shortly prior to the break.
Jurgen Klopp promised that this group – which furthermore consists of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and former European kings Porto – would supply pleasure ‘from the first minute to the last’.
And the German wasn’t incorrect – as he rested three key avid players and nearly paid for his conceitedness.
This was once-mighty Milan’s first Champions League look in seven years – and their first ever go to to Anfield.
And whereas there had been fairly a bit pre-match talk of Liverpool’s epic comeback from 3-0 correct proper right down to defeat Milan in the 2005 ultimate, few would have anticipated a match as frenetic as this.
Trent Alexander-Arnold fired the Reds in entrance and Mo Salah had a penalty saved prior to Milan turned the encounter on its head with strikes from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz.
But Salah netted an equaliser prior to Henderson’s peach and Liverpool had overcome their meltdown to protected a deserved win.
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Both of those golf gear, with 13 European Cups between them, had been a part of the hated breakaway Super League scheme which was swiftly quashed final spring.
They ought to have acknowledged higher, as a result of the prevailing Champions League format occasionally disappoints in the knock-out stage – and it may be tasty in the group half too when there’s a group served up like this one.
Klopp made the shock choice to bench Virgil Van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara, with Joe Gomez and Divock Origi each handed their first begins of the season.
But it didn’t appear to matter as Liverpool began much like the clappers, with textbook manic workrate and their rampaging full-backs setting the tempo.
First Andy Robertson motored down the left and flashed in a cross which Origi sliced broad.
Then from a Roberton cut-back, Diogo Jota’s shot was deflected broad.
But the breakthrough purchased proper right here down the turning into, from Alexander-Arnold – mistrusted by England boss Gareth Southgate nonetheless cherished by Klopp.
The Scouser carried out a neat give-and-go with Salah, snuck in behind his man and noticed a shot deflect off Fikayo Tomori and contained in the far put up for a ninth-minute opener.
The relentless tempo continued, Milan being pinned as soon as extra and battered.
Soon Liverpool had a penalty, Robertson’s cross hanging the raised arm of Ismael Bennager.
But Salah, making his one centesimal Anfield seek for Liverpool, confirmed a peculiar glimpse of mortality.
He fired his penalty too near keeper Mike Maignan, who made an beautiful double save, furthermore pushing away Jota’s header from the rebound.
Maignan was at it as quickly as further, tipping over a half-volley from Salah. Milan had misplaced their well-known explicit individual keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to Paris St Germain in the summer season season nonetheless his substitute was holding them in the match.
Liverpool’s shock-and-awe strategies has began to subside nonetheless Milan had barely threatened prior to their gorgeous double-strike late in the primary half.
The first was a candy passing change which ended with Franck Kessie feeding Rebic, who lashed dwelling in entrance of a travelling help in the Anfield Road finish who appeared as shocked as they’d been delighted.
If that wasn’t chastening ample for Klopp’s males had been forward lower than two minutes later.
This time, Kessie made a surging run, Rebic squared and an Alexis Saelemaekers shot was cleared off the road by Robertson, just for Diaz to react quickest and gleefully faucet dwelling.
With The Kop quickly shocked into silence, the Reds retreated to their dressing room questioning how on Earth they’d been behind on the break.
It might need been even worse straight after the interval when Saelemaekers netted from a brief nook solely to be dominated out for offside.
Stung by all this mayhem, Liverpool swiftly equalised, Origi with a dinked through-ball and Salah steering dwelling to lastly beat Maignan.
It was all Liverpool as quickly as further now, Milan defending desperately, and Jota’s shot deflected over.
From the next Alexander-Arnold nook a header was cleared to Henderson who drilled into the nook of the online on the half-volley with good technique and important venom.
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It was the skipper’s first Champions League goal in seven years and it was a big one, in a match the place dropped dwelling parts would possibly efficiently have proved very pricey.
Milan despatched on Olivier Giroud, who had his menacing moments, nonetheless Klopp’s males continued to make a lot of the working.
They had missed their European nights in entrance of full properties at Anfield over the sooner 18 months – and this had been a fundamental one.