Liverpool vs AC Milan Football Match 16 Dec 2022
Liverpool returned to action with a 3-1 defeat to Lyon on Sunday, with former Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette bagging a brace during the French side’s victory.
Fabio Carvalho had opened the scoring for the Reds within the first minute after applying a simple finish to a neat move, before Mohamed Salah squandered a golden opportunity to double his side’s lead from the penalty spot after Roberto Firmino had been fouled.
A defensive mix-up between Andrew Robertson and Caoimhin Kelleher allowed Lacazette to pounce before the break, with Jurgen Klopp electing to make several changes for the second half as his side proceeded to fall to a defeat in normal time, before also missing out on a bonus point by losing a penalty shootout.
As such, Friday’s meeting with Milan will be a race to avoid finishing bottom of the Dubai Super Cup, although in truth the German will be more concerned about his side’s performance and energy levels than the result.
Indeed, the 55-year-old has repeatedly referenced a desire to see his team press higher and win more second balls ahead of their return to competitive action against Manchester City in the EFL Cup next week.
Milan, meanwhile, were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal on Tuesday, with Fikayo Tomori’s late goal ultimately not enough to mount a comeback after first-half strikes from Martin Odegaard and Reiss Nelson.
Like their forthcoming opponents, the Rossoneri also lost out in the proceeding penalty shootout, leaving both teams without a point to their name in the Dubai Super Cup ahead of their clash on Friday.
The two European heavyweights have tremendous history in recent times, of course, having shared one Champions League triumph each against each other in the 2005 and 2007 finals, before Klopp’s side won both meetings in the group stage last season.
One man who will be hoping for a start against his former club is Divock Origi, whose goals against Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur were crucial to helping Liverpool to their sixth European Cup title in the 2018-19 season.
The Italians have a couple of more weeks to prepare for their return to competitive action, with another friendly against PSV Eindhoven forthcoming before they face Salernitana in Serie A in the New Year.