Liverpool 3-2 Milan: Henderson stunner settles Group B thriller

By Sports Desk September 15, 2021

Jordan Henderson's long-range strike gave Liverpool a winning start to their Champions League campaign as they beat AC Milan 3-2 in a Group B thriller.

Liverpool appeared set for a comfortable victory when Fiyako Tomori inadvertently put through his own net in the ninth minute of Milan's first Champions League match since 2014.

However, the Rossoneri are a much-improved team under Stefano Pioli and, after Mike Maignan saved a Mohamed Salah penalty, they took the lead through quickfire goals from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz late in the first half.

Salah, though, atoned for his failure from 12 yards by equalising three minutes into the second half and Henderson's first Champions League goal for seven years ensured they took maximum points from an enthralling clash.

Liverpool were rewarded for a fast start that saw Divock Origi and Diogo Jota go close when Trent Alexander-Arnold played a neat one-two with Salah and his cross-cum-shot deflected past Maignan by Tomori.

While there was little he could do to prevent the opener, Maignan kept Milan in the game when he dived to his right to keep out Salah's spot-kick and then to deny Jota on the rebound after Ismael Bennacer was deemed to have handled in the area.

The Reds' dominance eventually dissipated and their failure to extend the lead was punished with two goals in the space of as many minutes that turned the game on its head.

Rebic levelled matters with a composed finish at the end of an intricate move, finding the bottom-right corner, and Diaz then tapped into an empty net after Theo Hernandez had seen his shot cleared off the line by Andrew Robertson following great work from Rafael Leao.

Milan had the ball in the net again soon after the restart but Simon Kjaer's effort was rightly ruled out for offside in the build-up. Salah, by contrast, was able to stay in line with the last defender and meet Origi's clever lofted ball with an improvised side-foot finish to restore parity.

And an enthralling clash swung back Liverpool's way once more as Milan could only clear a corner as far as Henderson, whose magnificent half-volley left Maignan with no chance.

Pioli's men could not find a reply this time, with Kjaer's near-post flick-on from a corner the only scare as a Liverpool side that looked fragile for much of the night shut up shop effectively.

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