Inter Milan are, by the numbers, the best team in Italy and one of Europe’s top sides. Liverpool, though, were favourites heading to the San Siro for the first leg of their 2022 Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Wednesday evening.
That dynamic in perception heading into the match played out on the pitch in the tactics of the two sides, as Inter chose to limit their own attacking instincts in an effort to shut down Liverpool. For a time, it worked. Right up until it didn’t.
“We were waiting for these kind of games and we were ready for that,” Liverpool midfielder Thiago reflected following the match. “The biggest stage in the Champions League, against a historically great team, playing here, trying to win the game.
“In the second we had this fabulous header from Bobby and after that we really controlled the game and we won it more, got the second one. We are really happy with the result. In the end, in the Champions League, the small details are the difference.”
In the end, Liverpool created three times the expected goals despite being the away side. They also had more possession and completed more passes. They deserved to win, even with a high quality opponent doing their best to shut them down.
Now, with the second leg not until March 8th at Anfield, Liverpool turn their attention back to domestic matters with league games against Norwich, Leeds, and West Ham plus an FA Cup tie and the final of the League Cup in the coming weeks.