It would have taken a miracle to qualify for the Champions League knock-out rounds but AC Milan were instead eliminated following a 2-1 loss to Liverpool. The worst-case scenario played out at San Siro: not just the defeat but a win for Atlético Madrid at the Dragão means that the Rossoneri finish bottom of Group B (four points) and also missed out on Europa League football. Pioli's side dared to dream for a moment after Fikayo Tomori opened the scoring but the Reds' quality shone through as they turned it around with goals from Salah and Origi.
It's a shame, a real shame, but we mustn't be too harsh on our boys; the players gave it absolutely everything and, in the end, the absences hurt. Going out like this will hurt but it's also a learning moment; after returning to the big time, the Diavolo just couldn't manage to get out of the group of death. The aim now is to play in this competition every season, a goal that can be achieved through the league, which now takes on increased importance. Serie A is the only competition that we need to focus on right now - until the start of the Coppa Italia: it's Udinese v AC Mian at the Dacia Arena at 20:45 CET on Saturday. We also have to applaud the fans, who were absolutely excellent tonight.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY OF AC MILAN v LIVERPOOL
Krunić was brought in to replace Leão and Messias started to. It was a cagey start to the game as both teams tried not to afford the other an inch of space and chances were few and far between in the early stages. In the first quarter of an hour, the only noteworthy moments were a shot from Williams (4') and a header from Tonali (8'), neither of which was particularly threatening. That all changed in the 29th minute when AC Milan took a sudden lead. Messias took the corner, which wasn't dealt with properly; Tomori was the first to react and prodded it home. Liverpool's reaction was immediate and furious; in the 32nd minute, Maignan denied Origi before, in the 36th minute, Mike failed to hold Oxlade-Chamberlain's effort and Salah rifled it in on the rebound. Origi had another go - well over the bar - before half time.
There were no changes at the break but the Reds were well on the front foot. In the 48th minute, Minamino's effort ushered in a period of dominance for the away side. In the 53rd minute, a mistake from Tomori opened up a chance for Salah, who fired straight at Maignan. Another error from the Englishman set Mané free; his effort was parried away by Maignan but it was straight at Origi, who headed Liverpool into the lead. The Diavolo didn't give up but showed that the second goal was a tough blow to take as Liverpool began to carve out chance after chance; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah and Origi all had a go. In between those, there was a big chance for Krunić, whose effort in the 61st minute whistled just wide. As the game wore to a close, there were attempts for either side: Ibrahimović's wayward bicycle kick, then Kessie - denied by Alisson one on one (85') - and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 91st minute - blocked by a sliding Hernández. Full time.
AC MILAN 1-2 LIVERPOOL
AC MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu (65' Florenzi), Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernández; Tonali (59' Saelemaekers), Kessie; Messias, Díaz (59' Bennacer), Krunić (83' Bakayoko); Ibrahimović. Subs: Jungdal, Tătărușanu; Ballo-Touré, Florenzi, Gabbia; Maldini. Coach: Pioli.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Williams (93' Bradley), Philips, Konaté, Tsimikas; Morton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino (93' Woltman); Mané (64' Gomez), Salah (64' Keita), Origi (80' Fabinho). Subs.: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Davies, Matip, Norris, Robertson; Dixon-Bonner. Coach: Klopp.
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED).
Goals: 29' Tomori (M), 36' Salah (L), 55' Origi (L).
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