Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan: 5 talking points as Jordan Henderson screamer settles pulsating contest | UEFA Champions League 2021-22

Jordan Henderson was the unlikely winner for Liverpool.
Jordan Henderson was the unlikely winner for Liverpool.
Sachin Bhat

AC Milan's long-awaited return to the Champions League ended in defeat, as they lost 3-2 to Liverpool in an Anfield classic. Jordan Henderson settled a nerve-wracking encounter with a belter of a shot in the second half as the Reds took the initiative in Group B with all three points on the opening day.

Fikayo Tomori's own goal helped Liverpool break the deadlock inside the opening ten minutes following a superb trademark Trent Alexander-Arnold run down the right-hand side. Mohamed Salah then missed a penalty to double Liverpool's advantage as Milan came roaring back into the game.

Second-best for much of the first half, Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz scored in quick succession to put the visitors in front at the break. However, Salah atoned for his missed penalty by restoring parity three minutes into the second half. Liverpool captain Henderson then thumped home a scorching low drive from Alexander-Arnold's corner to seal all three points for the hosts.

Unlikely hero @JHenderson settles a thriller in yet another Anfield classic πŸš€

Liverpool were deserved winners on the night. But kudos go to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-less Milan side for a spirited performance in their first Champions League game in over seven years.

On that note, here are five key talking points from the five-goal Anfield thriller:

#1 Mohamed Salah's penalty streak for Liverpool comes to an end

Mohamed Salah produced a rare miss from the spot for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah produced a rare miss from the spot for Liverpool.

Besides being a prolific goalscorer, Mohamed Salah is also an exceptional penalty-taker. He scored his last 18 penalties for Liverpool before Milan arrived in Anfield on Wednesday.

That hot streak, though, came to an end, as the Egyptian ace was kept out by the Mike Maignan, who guessed the right way to parry the effort. The Milan custodian then put away Robertson's follow-up effort for a corner.

That marked Salah's first miss for Liverpool from 12 yards since October 2017.

2 - Mohamed Salah has failed to convert a penalty for just the second time in 19 attempts for Liverpool, with this his first since failing to score versus Huddersfield in October 2017. Rarity.

Salah's failure from the spot kept the match on a knife's edge before the Rossoneri clawed their way back with two quickfire goals.

#2 Alexander-Arnold caught napping at the back by Milan

Alexander-Arnold was exposed in defence.
Alexander-Arnold was exposed in defence.

When it comes to attacking full-backs, there're very few better than Trent Alexander-Arnold. He is absolutely menacing when driving forward at full pelt, and he makes a lot of assists too.

But there's a downside to his game which Milan gleefully exploited on the night. Alexander-Arnold was caught napping in defence, with the Liverpool ace being out of position a few times in the game.

It's not surprising that both Milan goals stemmed from his side of the flank, with Alexander-Arnold failing to track Rebic for both goals.

He made a superb goal-line clearance for the second. But it was too little too late as Diaz, his opposite number, was on hand to turn home the loose ball with a simple tap-in.

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Edited by Bhargav
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