We react to Liverpool’s Champions League victory/defeat to/draw with AC Milan and give you a chance to vote for Man of the Match.
AC Milan 1 – 2 Liverpool FC
AC Milan: Tomori 29’
Liverpool: Salah 36’, Origi 55’
Nat Phillips starting at the San Siro, let’s GOOOOOO!!!!!!
Oh, umm. Elsewhere: Alisson starts between the sticks, Phillips starts next to Konaté, Tsimikas, and Neco Williams. Tyler Morton gets another Champions League start, alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino in the middle of the park. And Divock Origi hopes to continue his heroics, flanked by Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah (who, no doubt, hope to bag a goal or three themselves).
My hopes for tonight:
– 51% Liverpool win
– 49% Atleti eliminated
(cool that these are not mutually exclusive!)
— Zachary A Marx (@80couches) December 7, 2021
Not much happens in the first 15 minutes or so. Both sides appear to be feeling their way into the match. Liverpool are struggling to play through the lines, and Milan are struggling with Liverpool’s press in the early stages.
Goal. Not much happened in the second 15 minutes either. But on Milan’s first real venture into Liverpool’s box they won a corner and scored from it. It probably should’ve been cut out by Minamino at the near post, but Alisson did well to save the initial effort. Unfortunately he had no chance with the rebound. At least this is bad for Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool respond immediately, winning a corner of their own practically from the kickoff. A moment later they fashion their best chance yet when the ball falls to Divock about 12 yards out, but he cannot convert.
GOAL! Ox does well to fashion an effort, beating a couple of defenders before lashing in an effort from the edge of the area. The keeper saves the first effort, but Mo was ready to pounce on the rebound, and sends it into the roof of the net!
Also noteworthy: that’s six left-footed goals in a row for Liverpool.
The Reds have mostly been on top since the Milan goal, but have not yet created any big chances (other than the one from the rebound). Meanwhile, it’s scoreless in the Porto-Atleti match, so second place is still up for grabs.
GOAL! Origi is only here to score important or spectacular goals. We should all know this by now, but it never ceases to amaze. Mané tested the keeper and Origi was in the right place, at the right time, with an outrageous header to take the lead!
That goal ended Liverpool’s left-footed goal streak at six. However, all three goals so far have been on rebounds. So that’s something.
Liverpool started this half well on top. The home side have hardly had seen the ball in the opening fifteen minutes. On the hour mark Klopp makes his first two subs, which appear to be planned, Naby Keita and Joe Gomez on for Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, respectively. It appears as if Minamino and Williams take positions in the front three, with Gomez slotting into right back, and Keita into midfield.
With about ten minutes remaining, Origi makes way for Fabinho.
Alisson hasn’t been called into action much, but with about five minutes of regular time to go, the Brazilian once again comes up with a big save to deny the hosts!
As we enter three minutes of stoppage time, Klopp makes two final subs, and yutes at that! He brings on Connor Bradley and Max Woltman for Minamino and Williams.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool become the first English side to win all 6 of their Champions League Group Stage matches. To do it in the so-called “Group of Death?” Even sweeter. Well, it was death for Porto and AC Milan. Liverpool? No. Liverpool have mastered death.
Focus now returns to the league and domestic cups until February, when the Round of 16 kicks off.