After a season played out mostly in empty stadiums or in front of partial crowds at best, the fans have returned for the 2021-22 season.
Now, after a month of Premier League action, it’s time for the Champions League group stage to kick off, and with that will come the first European night at Anfield with the fans back in the stands.
According to Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, that will make for a special moment—and more special than most perhaps given the Reds are facing off against AC Milan.
“A European night at Anfield with fans, wow,” said Henderson. “They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but in this case we always knew. That’s why we’ve been so desperate to have these nights back.
“Tonight was always going to be special, no matter who the opposition was. The fact that our opponents are AC Milan only makes it even more special.”
It is a match between European football royalty to kick off group play for both: Milan are one of only two clubs with more titles in the competition than Liverpool, with the Serie A giants holding seven to the Reds’ six while both trail Real Madrid’s 11.
The winner tonight—if there is to be a winner tonight—will give themselves a solid foundation for escaping a difficult Group B and of just maybe adding another title to their tally.
“It always makes me massively proud when I see the ‘European Royalty’ banner on the Kop,” Henderson added. “This is a tie where such sentiments also apply to our opponents.
“Just as we do when we go away to Europe’s most famous venues, they will see Anfield as a stadium to conquer and a place where history can be made and reputations enhanced.
“The incentives might be different for us, but they are just as great. The biggest of them all is the chance to create another European night to remember with our supporters. After being apart for so long I’m expecting a bit of extra electricity on and off the pitch.
“This is European competition in its truest sense and I know I’m speaking for all of the lads when I say we can’t wait to get going.”