Amid the excitement of a packed house for a European night at Anfield, and a rollercoaster game on the field, all that really mattered was the three points for Liverpool against AC Milan.
It was a good early test of the Reds’ credentials as they start out on yet another Champions League journey and manager Jurgen Klopp can certainly take plenty of positives from the encounter, going forward.
Fitness Proves the Difference
It was a relatively quick turnaround for Liverpool from their 3-0 win at Leeds United, before their first outing in the Champions League group stages. The Reds, who are 8/1 in the football betting odds to be crowned the champions of Europe once again, looked largely comfortable in their win at Elland Road.
However, Leeds tend to make teams put in the running for the full match and the Reds went toe-to-toe for the full 98 minutes in West Yorkshire. Many football betting tips would have had Liverpool to back up that win across the Pennines with a victory over Milan, but fewer would have expected such a thrilling contest. Ultimately, despite just three days between games, it was Liverpool’s fitness and quality on the ball that saw them over the line against the Rossoneri.
Klopp prides himself on making his team one of the fittest in the Premier League and, once again, it helped Liverpool secure an important win on a European night at Anfield.
Obviously, the Reds are no strangers to having to come from behind in a European game, and so often their superior fitness to spring wave after wave of attack saw them secure the 3-2 victory.
Composure Will Stand Reds in Good Stead
While many teams are still finding their feet in the new season, Liverpool are already showing signs of real promise. Klopp will have been delighted to see the composure of not just the team as a whole, but certain individuals to respond to disappointment in the win over Milan. It was a rare sight to see Mohamed Salah have a penalty saved, but the Egyptian responded well to secure the equalising goal in the second half.
After two quickfire goals for the visitors, following that missed penalty from Salah, Liverpool would have been forgiven for letting doubts creep in on whether it was going to be their night. But experience shone through, as Jordan Henderson bagged a deserved winning goal to get the Merseysiders off to a flying start in Europe.
Any Win Will Do
Liverpool have landed in a tough group in the Champions League this season, and every point will be vital if they’re to reach the all-important knockout stages of the competition.
With Milan, Atletico Madrid and Porto to overcome, a win on the opening night will have come as a delight to Klopp. It was an even better evening knowing Atleti and Porto had played out a goalless draw in Spain on the same night.
There’s still a long way to go in the European campaign, but the Reds now have winning momentum to take into the challenges ahead.