Milan 1-2 Liverpool: Hosts out of Europe as Reds finish off perfect group stage

By Sports Desk December 07, 2021

Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi scored in a 2-1 victory over Milan as Liverpool became the first English team to win all six Champions League group games in a single season.

Although they fell behind to a Fikayo Tomori strike, the Reds rallied to round off a perfect group-stage campaign.

And this result meant Milan not only failed to join their opponents in the next round but also missed out on a Europa League spot.

Liverpool saw out a historic win – their first at San Siro against Milan – with little trouble.

Despite knowing the stakes, Milan wasted much of the first half-hour showing too much respect to a Liverpool team whose many changes were evident in their disjointed play.

But when the first real chance of the game finally came, it went to the hosts, and they took it to give a raucous home crowd a deserved moment of release.

Tomori is unlikely to have many easier opportunities than a five-yard tap-in that came about when a corner somehow squirmed past three Liverpool defenders.

To their credit, the visitors improved immediately, and they were soon level courtesy of a cool Salah finish after an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain effort had been parried.

Liverpool kept up that new standard following the break, taking the lead for the first time 10 minutes after the restart.

Fresh from scoring a late weekend winner at Wolves that saw him described as a "legend" by manager Jurgen Klopp, Origi was in the right place again to head home after Sadio Mane had been denied.

With his team looking comfortable, Klopp looked to protect his big hitters, with Mane and Salah making way for Naby Keita and Joe Gomez.

But those changes did little to disrupt the visitors' rhythm, or encourage Milan to push for the win that could have saved their European season.

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    The selectors did not call up a replacement for the paceman, who helped the Proteas come from behind to consign India to a 2-1 defeat in the recent Test series.

    Spinner George Linde has been retained from the Test squad and the left-armer will be hoping to add to his tally of two ODI appearances.

    South Africa have not won an ODI series since a whitewash of Australia in March 2020, and their most recent series against the Netherlands was postponed due to concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

    Virat Kohli is set to play in his first match since stepping down as India's Test captain.

    With Rohit Sharma out of the tour due to a hamstring injury, KL Rahul leads the side and will open as the tourists strive to put behind them the disappointment of failing to win a first Test series in South Africa.

    India have won the last two ODI series they have contested, beating both England and Sri Lanka by a 2-1 margin. The tourists have added Jayant Yadav and Navdeep Saini to their squad, with Washington Sundar missing out after testing positive for COVID-19.

    South Africa were hammered 5-1 when they last faced India in an ODI series on home soil four years ago, Kohli claiming the man of the series award.

    There will be no World Cup Super League points to play for in this series, but South Africa must build some momentum as they are currently outside the automatic qualification spots for the showpiece in India next year.

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    Kohli had to contend with further questions about his lack of runs ahead of that decisive match in Cape Town and you have to go back to November 2019 for his last international century, that coming against Bangladesh in the longest format.

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    He added: "We all know the journey this club has been on over the last eight to 10 years. Ten years ago someone would say we're crazy to [think we'd] be linked with Eriksen.

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