Liverpool 4-1 Milan (3-4 pen): Reds rate player as comfortable friendly win

Liverpool secured a 4-1 friendly victory over Serie A champions Milan on Thursday, their last friendly before next week’s Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City, albeit in a penalty shootout. Missed which was done after the final whistle.

The Reds outscored Milan in the first half and went through the gears in the second half as Stefano Pioli’s side – which included players from the Rossoneri side – looked well on pace for the club’s 123rd birthday.

After Milan survived an early break where Marko Lizetic fired just wide after two minutes, Liverpool drew first blood just moments later. The Reds broke Milan’s lines with great ease in passing and Mohamed Salah managed to get past Antonio Mirante, who was on the floor by the time the Egyptian was one-on-one.

A much-changed Milan XI were clearly struggling to find a rhythm in the opening 20 minutes. Their form was poor and their passing even worse, with Liverpool able to change possession regularly.

But, the drinks break seemed to work in Milan’s favor around the half-hour mark, with Liverpool sleepy. Shortly after the restart, a diagonal ball went over Andy Robertson, who misjudged a header, and fell to the feet of Alexis Sallymakers, who headed the ball in towards goal to make it 1. Tossed into the far corner for -1.

Sandro Tonali was being completely overwhelmed in midfield, with his defenders unable to pick up high-quality passes and no one around to help him beat Liverpool’s incredibly aggressive press. Right-back James Milner essentially played the first half as a winger as Jurgen Klopp’s side did a great job of keeping the tempo high and outplaying their opponents.

Their pressure paid dividends as Thiago accurately restored their lead on the break, taking the ball down unmarked on the edge of the box and firing past Mirante.

Liverpool were in the driver’s seat after the break, with Milan’s best chances only coming on the break and the Reds doing well to finish them off. Darwin Nunez tried his luck on goal moments after the hour mark, before youngster Stefan Bajsetic fired one over the crossbar from distance.

A rare foray for Milan after 69 minutes saw Yassin Adli keep good possession on the edge of the box before slipping past substitute Matia El Hilali to curl over the crossbar in what looked to be the lead. That Adrian was defeated.

The Rossoneri threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser, and when Liverpool gained possession on the edge of their own box, he only fired a long ball through the middle to Nunes who burst over to make it 3-1. collided with

Nunez poked in a second before the full-time whistle from similar circumstances. This time Ben Doak was left behind, the then 17-year-old squared for the Uruguayan to make it four.

As is the famous mid-season Dubai Super Cup tradition, a penalty shoot-out followed the full-time whistle. Mirante blocked Liverpool’s first two efforts, before Nunez later conceded a troublesome spot-kick to equalize 3-3.

Milan’s goalkeeper was spared embarrassment, though, as Pierre Calolo scored to make it 4-3 to win the dramatic shootout.

Liverpool were almost always in control / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

GK: Caoimhin Kelleher – 6/10 – Saelemaekers could do little to stop the goal and was otherwise not bothered. Some impressive splits.

RB: James Milner – 6/10 – Milan enjoyed the acres of space presented to him in the first half. He had everything in the tank though.

CB: Joel Matip – 7/10 – Lucky there was no nosebleed for his efforts to get past Milan’s backline and pass to Salah to assist his opener. Uncharted territory for the big man.

CB: Joe Gomez – 5/10 – Show your limitations in possession when trying to bring the ball out or find a forward pass.

LB: Andy Robertson – 5/10 – The switches of the game here cannot be mistaken for the return of competitive football.

CM: Stefan Bajcetic – 6/10 – No standout moments, but a clean display at the base of the midfield.

CM: Thiago Alcantara – 8/10 – Played with his slippers on in the first half. Given plenty of space around the edge of the box to use and enjoyed every moment of it.

CM: Harvey Elliott – 5/10 – The showboat got on board with a dirty spin at the start of the second half. Unfortunately it went into direct contact.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 8/10 – Tommaso Pubega gave a run out wide. Every time the pair encountered each other, he was absolutely terrified.

CF: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10 – A rare outing for Oxlade-Chamberlain, who were too many false nines. Drop deep and drop other bombs ahead of you while attempting back-to-back attacks.

LW: Roberto Firmino – 5/10 – Will be disappointed not to see Milan so spread out.


Adrian (59′ for Kelleher) – N/A

Nabi Keita (59′ for Thiago) – 6/10 – Half an hour in the tank without getting hurt. The promiser.

Darwin Nunez (59′ for Firmino) – 8/10 – He looked desperate to score, and his frustration paid off. Earned a brace in an all-action cameo.

Kostas Tsimikas (59′ for Robertson) – 6/10

Fabio Carvalho (59′ for Oxlade-Chamberlain) – 6/10 – A smart cameo. Willing to get on the ball and poke through teasing passes.

Malkamo Fraundorff (60′ for Milner) – 6/10

Nate Phillips (66′ for Mattip) – 6/10

Jarell Quansah (78′ for Bajcetic) – N/A

Bobby Clarke (79′ for Elliott) – 7/10 – Came on and promptly played a brilliant pass through Nunez to register an assist, impressive.

Ben Duwak (for 83′ Salat) – 7/10 – Came in and rattled the post with a low, driven shot, before assisting Nunez. Brilliant cameo for the youngster.

The manager

Jurgen Klopp – 7/10 – He rotated the side accordingly and gave minutes to key players as the fixture schedule gets busy over the next few weeks. The substitutes impressed and got the win. A decent outing.

Player of the Match – Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool)

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