EPL Club Liverpool Gets Flashy Win Over AC Milan in Champions Cup
SANTA CLARA -- Liverpool FC of England debuted a lime green uniform dubbed “Toxic and Thunder” by the club in a flashy 2-0 win over Italian clb AC Milan on Saturday night.
The storied club’s retro look served in stark contrast to its sea of red-clad supporters in the lower bowl of Levi’s Stadium in the International Champions Cup exhibition match.
In an eventful but fruitless first half, Liverpool rolled out a 4-3-3 attack for the first time in the preseason. The breakthrough finally came in the 59th minute as Divock Origi, a Belgian international and halftime substitute, fired into the corner from the left after cutting back by a defender.
The International Champions Cup, in its fourth year, is held in 10 U.S. cities featuring eight of the world’s biggest European soccer teams.
A sliding Roberto Firmino upped the margin to 2-0 as he snuck the ball into the far post off a deflected shot by Origi, who dazzled the Liverpool fans with his footwork and confidence.
Liverpool foreshadowed its second-half toxicity, nearly breaking a scoreless deadlock in the 41st minute. But a close shot by Sadio Mane on the right was saved brilliantly by goalkeeper Gabriel, who dragged his left foot by the near post.
Liverpool academy product Sheyi Ojo, 19, who had been on loan with Wolverhampton last season, shined in the second half, playing with power and skill up top.
Liverpool will open its English Premier League season on Aug. 14 at Arsenal, and Milan begins at home Aug. 21 against Torino in the Serie A.
Milan opened the ICC tourney with a shootout win over Bayern Munich after a 3-3 draw. Liverpool fell to Chelsea 1-0 in its opener.
Saturday’s exhibition marked the Liverpool debut of Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum, the former Feyenoord and PSV star. He was paired up front with Daniel Sturridge, who finished the previous season in top form with a goal against Sevilla in a Europa League final loss, after striking against Villarreal in the semifinals. The duo did the new kits justice with their explosive forays over the first 45 minutes.
The mere mention of “AC Milan” to a Liverpool supporter will evoke memories of 2005 and Istanbul, Turkey. In an exhilarating UEFA Champions League final, Liverpool, led by club legend Steven Gerrard, scored three goals in a six-minute span to erase in a 3-0 deficit en route to a shootout win over the stunned Italian side. Milan gained a measure of revenge two years later in the Champions League final.
Saturday’s Milan-Liverpool match marked just the third time the team have met since the Miracle in Instanbul.
Liverpool has suffered its share of blows during this preseason. Goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered a broken hand in the loss to Chelsea at the Rose Bowl, opening the door for Belgian Simon Mignolet, who started on Saturday. Karius joined teammates Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez on the shelf.