The first matchday of the UEFA champions league has come to an end just last night. And boy did we have some exciting games on our plate to enjoy. From the known obviousness Barcelona of Catalonia to the tight game of Chelsea in London and the pressure for Real in Milan and everything in between. But the standout feature would be the one played at Anfield, Liverpool. Where two of champions league's historic heavyweights faced off. Liverpool vs AC Milan. This is a tie that has amazed and entertained us over the years from the comeback in Istanbul to the final revenge in Athens. This fixture had a lot at stake. Plus the fact that AC Milan have returned to the big boys league after so many years of absence.
Well Milan were absent for understandable reasons. In the late 2010s the whole of Italy suffered a financial fall. And this crisis impacted from the share market through the common people and all the way to football too. The clubs couldn't make enough money to sustain themselves. Because the overall brand value of the Italian Serie A declined. The cash flow slowed down. Milan was the premier club of Italy. Back then Juventus wasn't as dominant as they are today. The Milan clubs were at the forefront of it. The club was staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. They had no option but to sell their star Kaka to Real Madrid. Many other transfers followed. Including Andrea Pirlo to Juventus. Since then Milan have lost their dominance and they couldn't have the kind of star players that they enjoyed previously. So they pretty much fell behind. But recently they've found back their feet. And under Stefano Pioli they are finally back to Europe.
Upon their welcome back to the big league. They enjoyed the deja vu of Liverpool. The night of Istanbul is one of the greatest champions league finale of all time. Where Milan led 3-0 by half time but Liverpool made an apocalyptic comeback to win the title. Milan did get their say though. In the 2007 champions league final they faced Liverpool again. But no mistake this time as Milan won against Liverpool to lift their 7th UCL title. The most titles only behind Real Madrid. So this game had much of an historic significance also the comeback of Milan after being gone for so many years had a lot of excited eyes in Anfield last night.
The game started in the fashion everyone wanted. Just 9 minutes in and Alexander Arnold's shot from outside box took a big deflection of Fikayo Tomori and went in. Unfortunately for the defender as it counted as an own goal. Few minutes later Liverpool got a penalty. By then it looked like Milan are in some hammering. As they're still not the heavyweight they were last time when they were in the competition. But to everyone's surprise Salah couldn't score from that penalty. And this miss came back to haunt them. Late in the first half Milan responded with a goal from Anto Rebic. Made it 1-1. And just two minutes later Brahim Diaz also scored to make it 1-2 on the night. Liverpool dominated the whole game but somehow Milan were ahead in goals. Though Liverpool didn't take time to respond as Salah compensated for his missed penalty by scoring a goal at 48 minutes. 2-2 and the game and the audience all were right on the edge. But to break Milanese hearts and shed some disappointment to the optimistic human souls who thought that Milan will a grand comeback by defeating Liverpool, Jordan Henderson came into the picture by scoring for Liverpool 69 minutes into game. This thrilling game did not have the fortune to see any more goals so it ended in a 3-2 win for Liverpool. Milan actually missed their star man in this game. The presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic would've automatically booster confidence into the team and would struck fear into the opponent's hearts. But his absence along with the high tempo atmosphere inside the Anfield stadium was hard for Milan. Also Olivier Giroud was in a good form but he couldn't make a noticable difference after coming on as a sub at 62 minutes.
But the most exciting part is we, the fans enjoyed another cracking game of football and it will only add to the heritage of the rivalry between the two clubs. Also another excitement is AC Milan are finally back at the champions league. We all can only hope that they will go forward from here on, and they shall regain the status of dominance which they once had and reign Europe again.