Inter Milan X - 2 Liverpool FC
Liverpool: Firmino 75’, Salah 83’
Harvey Elliott is the big shout on tonight’s team sheet from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. He’ll be the youngest player, not counting the qualifying rounds, to start a Champions League match for the club, breaking Trent Alexander-Arnold’s record by 36 days. Boss.
Elsewhere, Konaté comes in for Matip, and Thiago in Keita, and Diogo Jota comes in for Roberto Firmino. Into these, Redmen!
Liverpool are acting like the home side from the off, dominating possession and when they lose it, quickly winning it back with a suffocating press. However, after a very impressive opening five minutes, the Reds ease off a bit. For a side that has run hot—too hot—and burned themselves out at points this season, this might be the better approach.
Inter very nearly open the score, against the run of play, I might add, when they manage to work an excellent chance from just outside the 6 yard box. Thankfully Inter can only hit the inside of the crossbar. Too close for comfort!
The Reds have been ratcheting up the pressure as the half draws to a close. However, it is a double-edged sword because the visitors have left themselves exposed on the break several times. So far both sides will be disappointed that they haven’t made more of their chances.
As the ref blows for the half (just as Mo is about to go through on a break, but I digress), Liverpool have had the better of things, but still haven’t managed a breakthrough. On balance, if the Reds can manage a second half like the first, they should be leaving Italy at least on level terms, if not with a goal or two advantage. That said, we’ve seen Liverpool play significantly better in this competition (and stadium) this season, so there’s definitely room for improvement.
Klopp makes a rare halftime sub, hooking Jota for Roberto Firmino. Jota didn’t do much wrong in the first half (other than not scoring), but we’re never going to complain about more Bobby on the pitch.
On the other hand, Inter start the half by putting Liverpool under the most sustained pressure of the match, so maybe Bobby wasn’t the best sub. At least Kloppo has four more substitutions if this continues.
On the hour mark Klopp has decided he’s seen enough, bringing on three (!) subs: Jordan Henderson for Fabinho, Naby Keita for Elliott, and Luis Diaz for Sadio Mané. A few moments later Diaz and Trent combine for the possibly the best Liverpool chance of the half. Promising!
GOAL! Liverpool finally have the breakthrough! And it’s courtesy of a Roberto Firmino header from a corner! Robertson delivers and Bobby rises up to meet it at the near post, sending it across the face of goal and into the far corner!
GOAL!! Mo makes it two! The Egyptian King pounces on a loose ball in the box, following a free kick. It’s not his best finish, but it’s placed well enough that the keeper has no chance.
With a few minutes remaining, Klopp makes his fifth and final sub, you guessed it, James Milner.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool head back to Anfield with an impressive 2-0 advantage. There’s still a tough 90 minutes ahead, but you have to back these lads to get it over the line at home. Liverpool were the deserved winners tonight, though Inter could’ve hurt the Reds on another night. Hopefully that night won’t be next week!
Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs. Inter Milan
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Virgil van Dijk