With a final score of 3-2 thanks to Jordan Henderson’s 69th (nice) minute rocket into goal to nail down a win, Liverpool started this season’s campaign strong - spurred on by an early own goal by Milan’s Fikayo Tomori that really should’ve been Trent’s, but oh well.
“It was a good game, that’s what you expect when you play Champions League football – two really good sides, it was difficult to really put the game to bed in the end,” Trent Alexander-Arnold told the club website following the match.
“The way we started the first half was incredible, we put them under a lot of pressure and they didn’t really know what hit them. We tailed off towards the end of the first half but managed to get the win. Some good goals, obviously Hendo with an amazing strike to get us the win and we saw it out.
“It’s difficult when games go like that. You switch off for two or three minutes and you get punished. But it’s an elite competition, so you expect that.
“We can’t let that happen again, otherwise we’ll be punished like we were today. We were able to get the win and that’s all that matters really.”
Milan scored twice within a frantic fifteen minute spell to put them ahead in the first half, forcing the Reds to mount their comeback in the second. Mohamed Salah scored first in the second half, three minutes after the restart, and then Henderson came to the rescue. The win puts the Reds top of their group ahead of matches against Porto and Atletico Madrid next, hopefully something that will give them a bit of momentum for those matches, as they’re not likely to be easy.
“It’s a tough group,” the Scouser added. “When all four teams were drawn out, everyone was looking at this group as probably being one of the hardest all round.
“There’s no easy game or any givens in there. It’s going to be tough, you’ve got to earn every point you get. We’ve done well to get the three points.”
Milan was the only opponent that Liverpool haven’t faced recently - having only ever played them in opposing European finals, so the trip to Anfield was extra special. Jürgen Klopp also made sure to rotate the squad a bit more than we’re used to seeing, letting Joe Gomez start alongside Joel Matip and giving Virgil Van Dijk the rest. With multiple competitions on the horizon, though, Alexander-Arnold agreed with the approach.
“That’s how the season is going to go. You come back from the first international break and it’s straight into three games a week, a game every three days,” the defender finished.
“So you’re going to need the full squad, 25 lads. It’s not going to be the same XI that wins you every single game, there’s going to be changes in there and rotation.
“We have to be ready for that and I think the lads that came in today were definitely ready.”
With as full of a squad as we’re going to get at the moment - until players like Roberto Firmino come back from injury, that is - it’ll be nice to keep everyone fresh instead of running some players into the ground.