Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan: Two quick goals not enough for Rossoneri in UCL comeback

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan lost their comeback in the Champions League despite taking a 2-1 lead just before the first-half break. Liverpool were simply too strong and eventually won the game by three goals to two.

The game got off to a flying start as Liverpool put Milan in great difficulty with high press. The Rossoneri looked out of place and struggled a lot, resulting in the opener for the home side after just nine minutes.

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his way into the box and his cross was deflected by Fikayo Tomori, giving Mike Maignan no chance to save it. Unfortunate for Tomori, of course, who otherwise did very well.

That was in the 9th minute, and just five minutes later it could have got worse for Milan. Liverpool got a penalty after a handball on Ismael Bennacer and Mohamed Salah stepped up. Fortunately, Mike Maignan guessed the right way and made a crucial save.

Then, the tempo slowed down and the Rossoneri were at least allowed to have the ball a bit more. They continued to struggle, though, and only created a few half-chances. However, it all changed quickly.

On the break, Alexis Saelemaekers and Rafael Leao combined to find Ante Rebic in the box and the Croatian made no mistakes with the finish. Out of nowhere, Milan were level with Liverpool and got a confidence boost.

Then, a mere two minutes later (or maybe it was even less), the Rossoneri went on the break again and this time it was Leao that started the move. He found Rebic (again) and the Croatian unselfishly passed to Theo Hernandez.

The Frenchman’s effort was blocked on the line but Brahim Diaz was in the right place to provide the tap-in, All of a sudden, Milan were in the lead and the first half ended 1-2.

It didn’t take long, however, for Liverpool to equalise in the second half. Just four minutes in, Salah was found in the box with a ball over the top, leaving Maignan in two minds about whether to go out or not. The winger, thus, was able to slot it home with ease.

Milan then made a few changes, bringing on Olivier Giroud and Alessandro Florenzi in place of Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers. What followed wasn’t what Pioli had hoped, as Jordan Henderson scored for the home side.

The Englishman picked up a rebound on the edge of the box, firing off a great volley to find the back of the net. Not much Milan could have done about that, but a goal conceded nonetheless. This was in the 69th minute.

Milan then decided to bring on Sandro Tonali in place of Ismael Bennacer, who was on a yellow. Understandably so, the tempo slowed down again and the Rossoneri had just a few half-chances, but did have the ball a lot more.

Towards the end, Daniel Maldini came on in place of Ante Rebic but Milan didn’t really give themselves a chance to get back into the game. In the end, they didn’t have any dangerous chances and you could argue that the home side simply were better tonight.

READ MORE: Maldini insists Milan is ‘of the people who love it’ and reveals conversation with Klopp

Tags AC Milan Champions League Liverpool


  1. Expected more from the 2nd half. I thought Liverpool would be tired after heavy pressing they made. But for some reasons our midfielders stopped working. Anyway it was a great fight. Most of our boys played first time in UCL. Happy that Diaz is doing just great on a very important position of #10. It wasn’t an easy walk for Liverpool even at Enfield full of fans. Proud our boys are growing up. We can fight for UCL play-off with such a game.

  2. I hope the management see why we needed to buy a quality AM now, Briahim is a decent player but doesn’t have the legs for running around and Kessie had to do most of the pressing. Some of The players just didn’t come to play football today.

  3. I think we did well, it was a tough game with some shaky moments and misplaced passes but it’s a good start, not many teams can come back from Liverpool with points. With more games we will gain confidence and who knows we might be able to go out of the group to next round.

  4. Ante is again the Man of the Match, along with Maignan—in my opinion of course. So close, and yet so far for Milan. But what an effort. Good job boys!

  5. Pioli is big disappointment. This is why he failed to win anything in his coaching career.

    Milan won’t go far with this clown as a coach.

    He got all the decisions wrong today.

    For the starting 11 to the substitutions made.

    Why was Leao removed when he is currently fitter than Rebic? Leao played important roles in the 2 goals scored by Milan. We stopped attacking the moment Leao was removed.

    Why was Bennacer not removed at half time? Both Central midfielders are not yet fully fit and yet Tonali who is the only central Midfielder with proper pre season preparationd and full match fitness was being wasted.

    Giroud have been out of football for 2 weeks, how the heck did the Dumbo Pioli expects him to perform against the vibrant Liverpool whose defenders are quicker than a super fit Giroud.

    If Maldini and Co wants Mediocre result, then keep the Dumbo Pioli.

    1. Well, Pioli played with a squad two times cheaper than Liverpool’s team. And all of them played first time in UCL. And it was Anfield. We could win if Kessie was more motivated.
      Probably we could do better if used more defensive players instead of Calabria and Theo and then let them in on second half.
      Using Bennacer was a mistake. I agree. Tonali should have started.

      1. I guess people missed the part about Tonali have had the stomach flu two days before. Anyone who has ever had this knows that diarrhea and/or vomiting that usually comes with that is debilitating. He was probably not fit to start the match.

        My one issue with Pioli right now is the handling of Rebic/Leao. IMHO I think only one of the two should start, so that the other can come in when the starter is tired and keep the pace up on the flank. It was obvious Rebic was tired already when Leao was subbed off. That being said, not having Ibra or Giroud fit makes it impossible not to start both Leao and Rebic. Leaving Pellegri off the UCL squad might prove to be an error by the club. I hope this changes in January, when the lists can be amended.

  6. Bennacer had far too much playtime tonight, he played horribly in the first half and it was obvious the team needed Tonali instead of him right from the start of the second half. On top of that Bennacer was directly responsible for Liverpool’s third goal. Calabria played one of the poorest games I remember from him in recent memory. I liked Leao, Rebic and Brahim. Theo had to spend more time defending tonight so it was difficult. Horrible game from Kessie, Bennacer and Calabria.

  7. I hope Messias starts to play soon and we improve the athletic condition, they were sooooo fast. But good match though I almost cryed…

    1. Gianluca, you are exactly right. Milan’s conditioning left something to be desired. Liverpool’s players seemed to be everyhere, constant 2 v 1 or even 3 v 1 situations. Gegenpressing at it’s best. We were losing almost every 50/50 ball, even some 60/40 ones. Conditioning needs to go up, or different tactics need to be implemented.

  8. First game back, and the score lets us leave this one with our heads held high. But 3-2 doesn’t reflect how out of sorts we were. We all were framing this game as, “let’s see where we are in terms of competing with the best.” And the answer is we are still a ways behind. But we can get there. I saw enough to give me hope that we can clear this group. With the Porto-Athletic Madrid game ending with a point each, I think we are still in a good position.

  9. Yeah, we are massacred by Liverpool’s intensity..
    But the boys’ effort can’t be ignored either,,
    We have to admit that in terms of quality & intensity we are inferior than Liverpool..

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