Liverpool 2-0 AC Milan: Origi and Firmino net as Reds ease to comfortable win in California

The Reds cruised to a 2-0 victory.

Liverpool 2-0 AC Milan: Origi and Firmino net as Reds ease to comfortable win in California
Origi celebrates putting Liverpool ahead (photo: Getty Images)

Liverpool were handed a welcome boost following a difficult week, as they defeated AC Milan 2-0 in their second International Champions Cup game.

With the Reds having lost to Chelsea, had Mamadou Sakho sent back to Merseyside and seen new goalkeeper Loris Karius break his hand in the last seven days, goals from Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino ensured that the week would end on a high note.

Jürgen Klopp handed a Liverpool debut to Georginio Wijnaldum, as promised, and also gave Daniel Sturridge his first start of pre-season, whilst Simon Mignolet returned in goal following the aforementioned Karius injury.

Liverpool on top from the start

Thankfully for those who stayed up until 3AM in the United Kingdom to watch the game, it was lively from the outset, with Sadio Mane's pace causing the Serie A side problems. 

Interestingly, although the line-up suggested that it would be a 4-2-3-1 formation, Liverpool started with 4-3-3, Adam Lallana dropping into a deeper role than usual as he, Jordan Henderson and Wijnaldum made up the midfield three. 

The shots did start to come in as Wijnaldum set up Sturridge on the left hand side of the area, however the frontman surprisingly took his shot on his weaker right foot, subsequently seeing it blocked.

A fantastic chance for Sturridge to get on the scoreboard was wasted when Mane went down the right, he and Sturridge together agianst one defender, only for the winger to hit his cross too far, meaning the Englishman couldn't get to it and finish.

Klopp had much to be encouraged by (photo: Getty Images)
Klopp had much to be encouraged by (photo: Getty Images)

Chance of the half wasted

Although he was looking dangerous, it really wasn't Mane's half, never more evident than when he missed the best chance of the first 45 minutes just before it drew to a close. Good counter-attacking by the Reds, sparked by a good interception from 17-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold, saw Philippe Coutinho thread a smooth ball through to Mane, who had his shot saved by Gabriel in the Milan goal.

A raft of changes came at half-time, Origi and Firmino introduced alongside the likes of Kevin Stewart, Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno.

Origi returns with a bang

It was Moreno who got the assist for the the opening goal, scored by Origi just after the hour mark. The Spaniard played a wonderful ball over the top, with Origi beating the offside trap, taking the ball down superbly before jinking inside and curling the ball across goal into the bottom right hand corner. It was just 15 minutes into his first gametime of pre-season, a welcome return indeed. 

From then on Liverpool really did take the game to Milan, looking to cut them apart at every opportunity, as Sheyi Ojo was welcomed onto the pitch in place of James Milner, who started at left-back. 

Moreno put in another teasing ball which just about managed to evade all three Liverpool shirts in the area before being swept away, whilst Origi had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside after turning well and finishing from inside the area.

Liverpool would get their second goal, but not after AC Milan got their best, and only, chance of the night, M'Baye Niang heading over after finding himself in acres of space from a cross.

Firmino ensures it ends 2-0

The Reds took advantage of the wasted opportunity, going two goals to the good with just under 20 minutes left. Markovic released Ojo down the right, the English winger using his blistering pace to beat Gabriel Paletta to the ball, before a shot was deflected into the path of Firmino, the Brazilian finishing cooly with a first time shot, and providing an even cooler celebration.

Firmino could have got another as another Ojo ball in found it's way to him in the dying minutes, but Gabriel got across his goal well to save, keeping the score at 2-0. 

Firmino celebrates smoothly (photo: Getty Images)
Firmino celebrates smoothly (photo: Getty Images)