Tuesday, October 26, 2021

national media react to Liverpool’s win over AC Milan in the Champions League

Liverpool kick started their Champions League campaign with an enthralling 3-2 victory over AC Milan on Wednesday night.

The Reds were forced to make a second half comeback after a Fikayo Tomori own goal had given them the lead in the opening stages.

Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz scored for Milan just before the interval to leave Anfield stunned into silence.

However, second half goals from Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson settled the contest for Jurgen Klopp’s side to start life in Group B with a victory.

Plenty of national media outlets were in attendance to watch Liverpool’s win, here is a selection of what they thought.

“Unrelenting drama followed by comeback. A missed penalty, a Maldini on the field and a huge goal from Liverpool’s captain – you’ve heard that somewhere before, haven’t you?

“Liverpool against AC Milan will forever be synonymous with one scarcely believable night in Istanbul 16 years ago, a game with so many twists and turns that Xabi Alonso once likened it to the plotline of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.

“Steven Gerrard was Liverpool’s inspiration back then, dragging his team off the canvas to help the club land their fifth Champions League, so it was fitting Jordan Henderson, the current captain, reprised his predecessor’s role to get this latest European campaign off to the perfect start.

“Henderson will never be as prolific in front of goal as Gerrard but he’s always been capable of producing the spectacular and in the 69th minute, his half-volley from 20 yards transformed an evening that, at one stage, appeared to be going horribly wrong.”

“Nothing should ever surprise us when these two heavyweights collide in the Champions League.

“But the rollercoaster at Anfield still produced a thrilling and sensational spectacle which brought memories of Istanbul and the 2005 final flooding back.

“The game flowing one way, then turning on its head, it was both unpredictable and dramatic as Liverpool looked as if they would blow Milan away… only for their slack defending to keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the end.

“Finally, it was settled by Jordan Henderson’s screamer in the 69th minute winner as the roof came off the famous old stadium with a full capacity for a European game for the first time in 18 months.

“Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp went over to the Kop after the final whistle and his fist pump celebration in front of the fans left the place rocking again.

“It was a thriller, a terrific, unforgettable European contest as this week’s results have shown Group matches are not always dull. Not when there is history and passion.”

“The Kop reminded Milan of Istanbul before kick-off with a banner that read: “25/05/05 – There are places I remember.” Their torment did not cease there. Liverpool rekindled 16-year-old memories on the pitch too with three goals, another comeback and another rollercoaster Champions League win.

“There were lofty expectations for Group B from the moment a heavyweight draw was made. A high-octane, high quality opener at Anfield exceeded them. Milan initially received a brutal lesson in how elite European football has developed in the seven years since they were last in the Champions League as Jürgen Klopp’s side threatened to overwhelm Stefano Pioli’s team.

“Once the visitors adapted, however, they delivered a clinical lesson of their own by capitalising on sloppy Liverpool defending to score twice in three dramatic minutes at the end of the first half.

“As in the 2005 final, Liverpool headed for half-time shellshocked, trailing and in need of a rethink. Again they found the answers.

“Jordan Henderson sealed a merited and important win with a fine half volley, the captain’s first Champions League goal for 2,485 days, and ultimately the greater European experience in the Liverpool ranks told. Mohamed Salah missed a penalty shortly after Fikayo Tomori’s unfortunate own goal but his influence and menace never waned.

“Salah went on to mark his 100th appearance at Anfield with his 72nd goal on home soil and from that moment on, despite Milan’s prevailing threat and growing confidence, the hosts were firmly back in control of an absorbing contest. Anfield was served a treat. The respective managers enjoyed it too. Klopp and Pioli were engaged in a lengthy conversation long after the final whistle, along with the Milan legend Paolo Maldini, and shared a warm embrace before starting their post-match media duties.”

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“The great Paolo Maldini, now AC Milan’s technical director, was by the tunnel, chatting with the club’s head coach, Stefano Pioli, and Jürgen Klopp 20 minutes after the final whistle.

“They were engaged in a very lively discourse, pausing only when Maldini spotted Jordan Henderson walking past with his man-of-the-match award and shouted his congratulations to the Liverpool captain.

“Henderson has achieved much in his career and he can now add being saluted by a footballing legend. He also launched Liverpool’s latest quest for European glory with an important victory.

“Henderson settled this madcap match with the winning goal but it was also decided by the deep well of resilience in Klopp’s side.”
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