Liverpool vs Milan 3-2: Henderson Decides Latest Chapter in Epic Saga

On Tuesday night, football fans were treated to a thrilling battle between two historic rivals on a historic ground, as Milan marked their Champions League return following an eight-year hiatus with a showdown against Liverpool at Anfield Road.

The hosts opened the scoring early on and could have doubled their lead from the spot, but the visitors turned the table with two goals at the end of the first half. Nonetheless, the Premier League side pulled off another comeback in the second period, earning all three points in a spectacular 3-2 victory.

Jurgen Klopp made some changes to his 4-3-3 formation, as Divock Origi earned a rare appearance upfront, alongside Mohamed Salah and Diego Jota with Sadio Mané dropped to the bench. Fabinho operated in the Regista role, with Naby Keita and club captain Jordan Henderson completing the midfield trio.

Virgil Van Dijk was another major name who was left out of the Reds’ starting lineup, as Joe Gomez operated alongside Joel Matip in the heart of the defense in front of Alisson. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson took the fullback roles.


On the other hand, Stefano Pioli fielded his best available 4-2-3-1 lineup in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ante Rebic led the line as Olivier Giroud was deemed unfit to start. The Croatian was supported by Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz and Rafael Leao. Franck Kessié and Ismael bennacer were finally reunited in the double pivot, while the backline was composed by the usual suspects – Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Fikayo Tomori and Theo Hernandez – with Mike Maignan in goal.


Five minutes into the match, and Liverpool threatened Milan with the first goal-scoring opportunity as Jota dribbled his way inside the box but Tomori slid to intercept the Portuguese’s shot.

Few minutes later, Alexander-Arnold played a give-and-go with Salah on the right flank, he then ran towards the box. Tomori tried to intercept the shot once again, but this time he deflected it past his goalkeeper, giving the hosts an early lead.

On the 13th minute, the English onslaught continued, and culminated with a penalty kick due to a handball on Bennacer. Nonetheless, Salah was denied by Maignan, who went on to pick up the rebound, keeping his side in the match in the process, although his teammates continued to struggle facing their opponents’ high pressing.

On the half hour mark, Henderson fed Salah who unleashed a curling shot from the edge of the box, but Maignan won the duel again.

But against the run of play, Milan shocked Liverpool with two goals in two minutes. Diaz found Saelemaekers on the edge of the box and some brilliant one-touch-football with Leao put Rebic one-on-one with Alisson, and the Croatian made no mistake from close range.

The Rossoneri didn’t stop there, as a swift counter attack put Saelemakers in front of an open goal. Robertson made a heroic goal-saving dive, but Diaz pounced on the rebound to score the easiest of goals, leaving the Anfield crowd shell-shocked at the half time whistle.


The Italians started their second half with a disallowed goal by Simon Kjaer, and the EPL giants found the equalizer through Salah who made up for his disappointing first period. Origi dinked it over the defense, and the former Roma man broke the offside trap and put it past Maignan who should have came out of his goal earlier.

In another remarkable turn, Liverpool took the lead again as Bennacer’s clearance on a corner kick was met by a half-volley from Henderson, and his shot crept into the bottom corner, as Milan found themselves trailing yet again.

The Reds kept pushing for a fourth goal to settle the match, and substitute Curtis Jones tried his luck with a spectacular shot but it went just wide.

At the end of the day, Liverpool deservedly earned their first European win of the season as Milan were only able to come up with occasional half chances.




September 15, 2021 – Champions League 2021-2022 Group B

SCORERS: 9′ Tomori (M, o.g.), 42′ Rebic (M), 43′ Brahim Diaz (M), 48′ Salah (L), 69′ Henderson (L)

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Keita (71′ Thiago Alcantara), Fabinho, Henderson (84′ Milner); Salah (84′ Oxlade-Chamberlain), Origi (63′ Mané), Diogo Jota (71′ Jones) (Adrian, Kelleher, Konaté, Phillips, Tsimikas, Van Dijk, Minamino) Coach: Klopp
MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Kessié, Bennacer (71′ Tonali); Saelemaekers (62′ Florenzi), Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao (62′ Giroud); Rebic (83′ Maldini (Jungdal, Tatarusanu, Ballo-Touré, Gabbia, Kalulu, Romagnoli) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Marciniak (Poland)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Milner (L), Bennacer, Brahim Diaz (M); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 5′

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