AC Milan 1 Liverpool 2: Salah strikes again as rotated Reds become first Prem team ever to win ALL SIX group games
FIKAYO TOMORI is one of an elite group of Englishman who has proved to be a bit of a success in Italy.
But here at the San Siro last night, Tomori’s night started in fine fashion only for it to end in disaster with his shocking mistake leading to an attack which resulted in Divock Origi scoring another key goal for Liverpool.
By completing their 100 per cent record, it also meant that Milan failed to progress into the last 16 of the Champions League although they would have expected to do better against a much-changed Reds team.
While it is a fine achievement for Zlatan Ibramovich to be playing on this stage at 40 although here, the Swede looked his age.
Before the game, Klopp claimed that Dortmund felt in 2016 that Origi resembled Robert Lewandowski.
While that is stretching it a bit far, it takes a special type of player who is happy to remain on the bench but when he is needed, is able to perform spectacularly.
Equally, the Belgian is better technically than what some fans give him credit for and he certainly made a difference for a youthful Liverpool side last night.
Equally, it helps when you have a player as brilliant as Mo Salah in your team. He cancelled out Tomori’s opening goal with yet another brilliant goal for his 20th goal of the season.
It is incredible when you consider Salah has reached that figure in just 21 games for Klopp this season and how Chelsea will always regret letting him go.
Another player Chelsea let go more recently – this summer – was Tomori.
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Not many English players have found themselves praised by Italian football fans with the exception of Trevor Francis, David Platt, Gordon Cowans, David Beckham, Ray Wilkins and Paul Ince.
Jimmy Greaves would have been a major success but he did not hang around in Italy long enough.
Tomori, who spent last season on loan from Chelsea, completed a £25million move in a deal which could be worth £30m.
He has proved to be a key member of Stefan Pioli’s side which has now moved to the top of Serie A,
But it was certainly a mixed night for the central defender who, along with Nat Phillips, 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Morton and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, was one of just four Englishman who started the game.
Milan’s first chance fell to Tomori but his header but it was an easy one for Alisson, who was making his 150th appearance in goal for the club.
Ibrahomivic did not see much of the ball and he wasted his first half chance in a relatively dangerous area because he was far too slow for Ibrahima Konate who put the ball out for a corner.
Yet from that set piece, Milan moved ahead and the Liverpool defending was a right old mess.
Takumi Minamino was the main culprit as he swung a lazy leg to try and cut out the corner but completely missed the ball.
Alisson parried the ball onto the feet of a grateful Tomori who got ahead of Sadio Mane to score only his second goal for Milan and his first of the season.
A screaming Tomori hammered a fist against his chest and as you would expect the San Siro, at 75 per cent capacity because of Covid 19 restrictions, went pretty crazy. That goal had lifted Milan into second place but their lead did not last long.
Salah soon levelled, lifting the ball into the roof of the net after keeper Maignan pushed away a shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain straight into the path of the Egyptian.
Tomori completely miscontrolled a loose pass from Franck Kessie and while Mane’s shot was superbly slapped away by Miagan, the ball fell perfectly for Origi who headed into an empty net.
Unsurprisingly, Klopp made some changes and that included withdrawing former Roma striker Salah who was given an outstanding ovation from the Milan supporters.
Right now, Salah is playing at the type of levels we have only really seen from Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Liverpool fans will be praying he comes back from the African Cup of Nations in one piece.
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