Milan are the latest team to bow to Jurgen Klopp’s men, in rather meek style, after Atletico Madrid and Porto.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ibrahima Konate made a special impression on a night where the lion Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to be sleeping.
You could be forgiven for watching the game in the belief that Liverpool are the team for a Champions League spot, not the team that is getting the San Siro on to a clean group stage win.
An In Need of Minutes XI, supplemented with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Alisson dominated and dictated the proceedings, while Milan were content to let the game go to them, which they curiously consider they need to win.
Stefano Pioli’s players were passive, thoughtful and scared in front of Liverpool’s press. They only had a total of two shots in the first half of nine, but one of them acted as the opener in the match.
Takumi Minamino failed to clear the ball at the close, forcing Alisson to push – but only as long as Fikayo Tomori, who happily banged on the loose ball.
Milan are endowed with superiority on the scoreboard, but cannot use that as a spark to provide a more substantial threat.
Liverpool accepted the honor of being the better team and were leveled in seven minutes. Oxlade-Chamberlain showed the dynamism the home side craved by dodging two challenges and creating a sinking shot. Mike Maignan’s effort was close, but the goalkeeper’s intervention only helped Salah score his 20th goal of the season.
Any suggestion that Milan would pose a much greater threat after halftime has been dismissed. Liverpool remained the main innovators, comfortable and a little confused by the lack of defiance, combat and danger they faced.
As Atleti took the lead over Porto to finish second in the table, the Merseysiders sucked up any little hope they had through the top. Divock Origi.
Sadio Mane sped past Tomori, darted into the box and fired a thunderous shot at Maignan. The goalkeeper’s brilliant save was met with Origi’s good jump and the ball was driven strongly into the far corner.
Perhaps what best sums up Liverpool’s state of affairs in an entirely different field from Milan is the scene in which Nat Phillips casually dropped his shoulder, controlled the ball and escaped from two home players trying to close in on him.
Pioli’s allegations attempted to make a threat of late strike, but they were blown away long ago.
At times, Liverpool has become routine, making things easy. They had to hurl children – Max Woltman and Conor Bradley – in minutes they will never forget as Milan limped away from Europe.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/liverpool-milan-result-final-score-b1971443.html Milan vs Liverpool results: Final score, goals and match report from Champions League