Liverpool came from behind to beat Milan 3-2 in a pulsating Champions League clash at Anfield.
This is what we made of it.
What. A. Game.
It’s been over 554 days since we’ve been treated to a European night at Anfield and it announced it’s arrival back in our loves like a dress with a political statement at the Met Gala.
The noise was deafening. The colours exhilarating. The first 30 minutes was high-tempo football at it’s best, and then the two goals from Milan were a masterclass in counter-attacking.
Both teams showed why they have qualified for European football’s elite competition and have the ability to go far – if they can get out of the group of death.
This was a phenomenal way to welcome back the Champions League.
Who said the group stage games were boring? Give us more of this please.
It seems harsh that Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan will leave Anfield on the losing side such was the level of his performance, particularly in the first half.
Jürgen Klopp’s men penned the Serie A side back well into their own half and mustered 13 shots in the opening 15 minutes alone.
Liverpool were relentless, but the clock struck 43 minutes and Milan had scored two goals and the hosts only had one next to their name. How? It was all down the 26 year-old Frenchman.
Maignan denied Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot which is no easy feat, the Egyptian had netted the last 17 in a row. That was one of six saves overall in a unbelievable performance which kept Milan in the game and at some point looked as if it was going to be enough for them to come away with something from the game.
Stefano Pioli lost Gianluigi Donnarumma in the summer but the man they have in his place is more than an adequate replacement.
Back to their best?
There is still work to be done for Liverpool as the visitors cut them open far too easily for the two goals at the end of the first half.
But in the periods before and after those momentary lapses in concentration the 2019 winners looked as if they were back to their breathtaking best.
Buoyed by their home crowd they didn’t give Milan a moment to think and if they had been more clinical or came up against a less inspiring-goalkeeper then they could have run riot here.
Going in at half-time 2-1 down would’ve been a huge blow for Klopp and his team but they came out and dominated the second half, much like the majority of the first, and after Salah levelled proceedings, it looked as if there was only going to be one winner.
Liverpool are at their best when their shape suffocates the opposition and the ball appears to pinball between the two wing-backs, that was on display in abundance tonight.
A thrilling game that ends in the right way on what should be considered a successful night for the Reds.