EM – Report: Henderson volley secures Champions League victory against AC Milan

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James Carroll

@ James_Carroll84

Champions League football returned to Anfield with a vibrant 3-2 win for Liverpool over AC Milan on Wednesday night.

Trent Alexander-Arnold gave the Reds the lead within 10 minutes of the Group B encounter when his run and close range shot hit the net by a distraction from Fikayo Tomori.

Mohamed Salah then held a penalty from Mike Maignan before Milan scored twice in the final two minutes of the first half to take the lead thanks to Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz’s rapid-fire attempts.

However, Salah equalized four minutes after the restart when he did After a terrific pass from Divock Origi came into play, and Jordan Henderson’s perfectly executed first volley from the edge of the box restored the lead.

It was the decisive act on an eventful night on Anfield Road when Liverpool won their champions League season started with three points on Matchday 1.

Liverpool’s team sheet showed four changes from the weekend win at Leeds United, with Joe Gomez as his he The first start since November 2020 came. There were also berths for Henderson, Naby Keita and Origi.

An injury on Elland Road ruled out Harvey Elliott, while Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane were named on the bench.

Notably first competitive game between the clubs outside of a big final, Anfield was a fitting venue for the clash between two of the most famous teams in Europe.

Liverpool also responded with a breathless start to the decibel levels in the stadium. And after Origi missed a shot from a center Andy Robertson, a shot by Diogo Jota was deflected by Tomori in the first five minutes.

Next, Joel Matip’s header was after an Alexander Arnold corner towards the top Maignan’s corner taken under the crossbar.

But the early dominance paid off after nine minutes. Alexander-Arnold exchanges passes with Salah, storms into the penalty area and with a shot from close range finds the net via a distraction.

The intransigence did not let up. Salah then deflected a seemingly goalless shot from Tomori before he had a chance to hit Ismael Bennacer from the point after an attempt by Robertson.

The Egyptian’s attempt, however, was thwarted by a flying save to his right from Maignan who denied the hosts a second after 14 minutes of play.

Salah was repelled by the Milan goalkeeper after half an hour, this time seeing a snapshot on the edge of the penalty area, which was pushed forward before going into the top corner

In the final three minutes of halftime, however, the fight was turned on its head when Milan scored twice within a minute to take the lead at break.

Initially, a well-crafted move opened one Chance for Rebic in the penalty area, who finished cleverly after Frank Kessie’s pass.

Then Diaz knocked in from a few meters away after Robertson’s shot by Alexis Saelemaekers on de r line was blocked, leaving Anfield in disbelief after a largely host-dominated half was ruled out by Simon Kjaer for offside.

Even so, it only took the Reds four minutes to restore parity when Origi’s smart pass was made into Salah’s area.

After Robertson blocked a Maignan drive, Origi made room for the home side in one fell swoop. Mane was his replacement.

Jota held his head in his hands in the 68th minute as he made room for a shot in the penalty area but was left frustrated by a final block.

But Liverpool went a minute Back in the lead later when Henderson hit a free kick to the edge of the box after a corner with a crisp first volley that shot into the bottom corner and made Anfield roar.

Milan caused a few moments of concern in the closing stages when they were looking for some of the points but the hosts were able to see the rest and start their European Championship with a win.

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