The Warmdown: Liverpool open their Champions League campaign with a win against AC Milan
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool celebrates with teammates Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson after scoring their side's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield on September 15, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Last season's quarter finals in the Champions League saw Liverpool crash out to Real Madrid in disappointing fashion. This year they look to overcome their demons of last season and progress further into the competition. However, a group of death lies in the way of progression with Atheltico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan all to face.

Despite both teams illustrious European histories, Jurgen Klopp's men welcomed Milan to Anfield for the first in the teams' histories. A match up rich in goals, excitement and drama this encounter proved to be another classic between the two European giants. 

Liverpool begun the game with one intention, to swarm Milan. Like a agitated beehive, the Reds aggressively pressed the visitors in their own half from the first whistle. This was followed by relentless attacks and a plethora of scoring opportunities. 

It only took the home side ten minutes to burst through the flood gates. Mohamed Salah returned a one-two pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold releasing him into the box down the right hand side. The right back burst into the box and drilled a cross low. With a bit of fortune the cross took a heavy deflection off the oncoming Fikayo Tomori and looped over Mike Maignan in goal to give Liverpool the lead.

Liverpool looked to double their lead as Andy Robertson's shot was blocked by a defender's high raised arm just minutes later. Salah stepped up to take but saw his shot saved by Maignan after blasting it down the middle. The 'keeper then made another terrific reflex save as Diogo Jota attempted to head in the rebound.  

The Reds continued their dominance and by the 17th minute they had already registered 13 shots, all the more why it was shocking they went into the break 2-1 down.

After the game Klopp described it as his team getting "carried away with their own football." In the 42nd minute Ante Rebic levelled the scores before Brahim Diaz gave the visitors the lead two minutes later. 

Two goals both from counter attacks with the midfield no where to be seen. Both well worked by Milan who passed it around the Liverpool defence before Rebic stroked the ball home first time to level the scores and Diaz followed up from a goal line block from Robertson for the second. 

Salah made up for his missed penalty in the second half. He dinked the ball over the 'keeper from close range after Divock Origi looped a clever ball over to Salah. 

The Reds ended the evening with a Gerrard-esque shot. From one skipper to another Jordan Henderson unleashed a magnificent half volley from the edge of the box. His shot was drilled low into the ground and pocketed into the left corner of the goal, rewarding Liverpool with all three points. 

Origi back in contention

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The Belgium striker started his first game of the season against Milan. Liverpool's 27 has been out of favour recently but Klopp gave him a chance in their opening Champions League bout and he took the opportunity and ran with it. 

Origi linked up brilliantly with Jota and Salah in attack, supplying his two partners with intelligent passes whilst also making some impressive attacking runs. His performances has always lacked good link up play with his fellow attacking teammates but he showed against Milan he has all the qualities to do this. 

His performance was rewarded with a brilliant assist to Salah's equalising goal. It showed his intelligent footballing brain. Despite being in a tight position on the edge of the box surrounded by Milan defenders, he managed to lift an excellent ball over to Salah who coolly finished off his chance. 

With Salah and Mane unavailable at the start of the new year with AFCON commitments, Origi is putting his name in contention to replace these players in attack. 

Rock and roll football

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The first half an hour saw Liverpool produce some of the best attacking football the fans have seen in a while. Intense pressing high up the pitch, quick passing and creating lots and lots of chances, it was vintage Liverpool. 

With a full capacity Anfield, Milan looked shook and added to Liverpool's dominance. The twelfth man gave the Reds an extra boost. 

However, with an immense attacking presence always comes the downfall of defending. Liverpool didn't put their chances away and put the game to bed and got punished for it. Mike Maignan had a brilliant game in between the sticks and kept his side in it and thanks to him they went into the break in the lead. 

Liverpool got caught pressing to high up the pitch and the gap between to midfield and defence was too wide. This allowed Milan to play one pass and wipe out Liverpool's midfield leaving them with just the defence to beat. 

A positive start to the group of death

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It was hugely important for Liverpool to get a win in the first game of the group. With no easy games, getting all three points was massive especially at home.

Liverpool face Porto next who battled out a 0-0 draw with Athletico Madrid in the other game of the group. 

Both tough opponents so every point will be important for Klopp and his men who currently sit top of the group.

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