A little more than sixteen years to this date, on 25th May, 2005, Steven Gerrard and his chargers created history by coming from behind to mount three goals to lift The Champions League on penalties against AC Milan in Istanbul.
This comeback story has been etched in our memory as ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’.
Well, last night we witnessed somewhat of The Miracle of Anfield, as Liverpool scripted another comeback story against the same Italian opposition, this time courtesy the least expected man on field.
Captain Henderson soared his team to victory in a 3-2 score line with a crucial goal after the home team were trailing 2-1 at the end of the first half.
Liverpool have exuberated a great level of consistency since the onset of this season having won three games and drawn a solitary fixture against Chelsea in the Premier League.
The confidence as a result of playing this successful football showed in their opener against Milan as, despite being down at half time, they still managed to anoint themselves as the deserved victors.
With this win, Jurgen Klopp’s men have now won 7 out of 8 of their opening home fixtures in The Champions League with the last defeat coming way back in 2007 against the French side, Marseille.
So, without further ado lets dissect this rather pulsating encounter as the sea of Kopites at Anfield were served a treat.
Milan inflict double misery despite an own goal in the first half
Liverpool started the game with purpose as early on the clock they created their first chance in just the 4th minute through a Divock Origi shot which just went inches wide.
Minutes later The Reds would have their first through an own goal from Milan defender Tomori as he wrong footed keeper Maignan from a Trent Alexander-Arnold shot on goal.
The Reds would continue to mount attacks and were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute when Robertson’s shot was blocked by Bennacer’s hand.
Unfortunately for the hosts, keeper Mike Maignan thwarted Salah’s effort and also managed to keep Jota’s rebound header at bay- a sensational bit of keeping by the French national.
AC Milan were certainly up for the fight.
The Reds were again denied in the 30th minute by the Milan goalie when Salah’s effort was dashed away.
The visitors, against the run of play, would have their first in the 42nd minute through a brilliant long pass from ex-Manchester City Brahim Diaz to Saelemakers who squared it off to Rafa Leao.
The Portuguese slid it through for Rebic who curled a low shot pass keeper Alisson.
Moments later, Milan would have their second much to the dismay of the home side as Diaz tapped the ball over the line after Theo Hernandez’s effort was blocked by Roberston.
As the referee called time the hosts as well as their supporters were in a state of shock as Liverpool trailed Milan 2-1, despite dominating the first 40 minutes of play.
Liverpool mount a remarkable comeback
Amid soaring expectations from a 50,000 strong Anfield, Liverpool needed a remarkable comeback to not falter at the onset of Europe’s most prestigious competition.
Moments into the second 45, Milan had a third or at least they thought they did when Kjaer tapped the ball into the back of the Liverpool net from a corner only to realise he was ruled offside.
This possibly was the luck the home team needed to mount the comeback.
And a comeback is exactly what we got as Salah equalised in just the 48th minute as he was fed by a sumptuous tap into the D by Origi and made no mistake to slot it in.
The cheer had returned to Anfield as the boisterous Kop had found their voice.
Liverpool would continue to attack desperate for the winner and against all odds it finally came from the foot of captain and fan favourite Jordan Henderson in the 69th minute.
The inspirational Liverpool talisman fired a long shot that beat the Milan keeper after he was given the ball by Bennacer in his effort to clear Alexander-Arnold’s croner.
The Reds were 3-2 up and their captain had scored a Champions League goal after 2,485 days. Surely good things do come to those who wait.
Milan desperately tried for the equalizer albeit Liverpool’s defence stood tall as the referee called time much to the delight of the home team and their fans. The Reds had conquered Milan 3-2 courtesy a remarkable comeback.
Confidence is key for Liverpool going ahead
To come from behind and script a remarkable victory courtesy of a crucial strike by the captain shows the confidence a team has.
Liverpool need to continue to cement this confidence as they march with purpose galore to conquer teams in England and Europe.
After beating Crystal Palace in the Premier League and an upcoming fixture against a woeful Norwich side in the EFL Cup, The Reds should certainly finish these past few weeks with their confidence sky high and full of positivity.
‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’
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