Liverpool edged a Champions League classic last night when they beat Italian giants Milan, 3-2 at Anfield. A pulsating game saw the Reds go ahead through a Tomori own goal before Milan responded with two quick fire goals in the space of three minutes just before the halftime whistle.

This came after Mohamed Salah had uncharacteristically missed a penalty and a chance to put Jurgen Klopp’s men 2-0 up. Roared on by the Anfield crowd, the men in red pulled off another famous comeback against the Rosonerri as goals from Salah and skipper Jordan Henderson, earned Liverpool the three points.

Read on for some random thoughts about the game:

Jordan Henderson celebrates his goal

• Rotation. Jurgen Klopp made four changes from the XI that impressed against Leeds on Sunday. He brought Gomez in for his first start in almost a year, and gave Divock Origi a start out of nowhere. It was a surprising lineup but the manager can say it worked. Three points on the board and a rest for Virgil Van Dijk.

• We were extra terrestrial first half hour. You always knew we’d come out of the blocks flying as it was the first European night infront of a full Anfield crowd since March 2020. The first half hour was ridiculous, Milan didn’t know what hit them. We played on a level of intensity and bravery they had never experienced before.

With a full Anfield backing making it as hostile as it can be, the Rosonerri looked like rabbits in the headlights. You can tell a team is overawed when they start making so many unforced errors, as Kessie, Tomori, Hernandez and even the impressive Maignan all gifted possession to the maniacal men in red.

• We may have the best right flank in world football. In that first half hour, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah were forces of nature down the right wing. Hernandez, Kessie and Leao on Milan’s left hand side had no answers to the marauding runs. This culminated in the first goal and a host of other openings.

• Trent was really enjoying himself, he was playing very high up the pitch and running the game. He was nutmegging his man and going past him, he was hitting sensational diagonals, he was having the time of his life. Then the complacency set in. It probably got too easy so he started taking unnecessary risks, trying flicks in dangerous areas and leaving too much space behind him.

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates the opening goal

• The game reminded me of the 4-3 against RB Salzburg a few seasons ago. We similarly tore through them early on and then the complacency set in. Salzburg pulled it back to 3-3 on the night before Salah won it with the final goal of the game. When we play like the first half hour, we’re unplayable.

When it gets too easy though, we have a tendency to take unnecessary risks. The gaffer mentioned it post game and I believe it is something that will be worked on. He said ‘we lost the plot a little bit’, he mentioned he had seen it before halftime but couldn’t get the message through to the boys as the crowd was so loud.

• Our profligacy. We should have been at least three goals up by the half hour mark. We were that irrepressible. Mo missed a penalty, Jota couldn’t convert the rebound, and we had a number of shots we could have done better with. Maignan in goal had a good game but we really need to up our conversion rate.

23 shots on the night and we only scored twice (the first goal was a deflected cross). On Sunday we attempted 30 shots against Leeds United and scored just three times. We need to find our ruthless streak because at this level, teams will punish you for not putting them away.

Mohamed Salah punches the air in frustration

• Divock Origi. The Belgian as mentioned was a surprise inclusion. He started the game well to his credit. Played through the middle and not from the left wing like Klopp usually does, and he pressed well and worked his socks off. He was understandably rusty and his link up play with Mo left a lot to be desired, before he scooped an exceptional pass for the Egyptian to equalise.

• Origi only completed eight passes before cramp saw him taken off after the hour mark. It wasn’t a performance without fault but the key takeaway will be the glorious assist. There may be life in Divock yet, and he may rise to the occasion to serve as a useful alternative for the front four.

• Looking forward. We move on to this Saturday against Crystal Palace who thrashed table topping (at the time) Spurs 3-0. The games come thick and fast and Jurgen Klopp has started rotating his squad accordingly. You can expect Van Dijk, Thiago and Mané to start on Saturday having been given a breather last night. Crucial period for the Reds this.


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