Jürgen Klopp: We needed to beat Milan
Jürgen Klopp was delighted Liverpool emerged with three points from a 3-2 win over AC Milan because he expects it to be a tough battle to qualify from Champions League Group B.
The Reds began fast, with Andy Robertson almost laying on an opener for Origi within four minutes, just putting too much on his cross even for the most instinctive of finishers. Milan could not get the ball out of their own half as Liverpool made a brilliant start, and Trent Alexander-Arnold had soon made it 1-0 after a one-two with Mohamed Salah, firing home via a deflection.
A fired-up Robertson then won a penalty, with his volley handled by Ismael Bennacer, but unfortunately, Salah’s spot-kick was saved well by Mike Maignan. The Reds remained on top throughout, with Maignan busy as he thwarted Joel Matip with a header and Salah with a strike that was heading for the top corner, but there was a sinking feeling of wasted opportunities as the momentum shifted.
Milan somehow went 2-1 up before half-time, with both of their goals coming from Liverpool‘s right as Alexander-Arnold fell asleep – the first through Ante Rebic and the second courtesy of ex-Man City midfielder Brahim Diaz.
Liverpool did not need to change much at the break, aside from finding a clinical edge, and within three minutes of the restart, Salah had levelled after a brilliant dinked pass from Origi. After a promising display that brought an assist for Origi, the Belgian was forced off through injury, which prompted the introduction of Sadio Mane and the reformation of the first-choice front three.
The third goal came from an unlikely source, though, as an interchange between Matip and Diogo Jota won a corner, with Jordan Henderson thundering home a stunning half-volley from 25 yards out to make it 3-2.
Substitute Olivier Giroud had a couple of half-chances which Alisson dealt with well, with the tempo of the game slowing slightly after Liverpool finally took the lead again. With the Champions League permitting five changes, Klopp sent on James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with seven minutes left to play. The tide truly turned, Liverpool defended well as they held on for an emphatic win that fit the occasion perfectly.
Tomori [OG] (9′), Rebic (42′), Diaz (44′), Salah (48′), Henderson (69′)