Just when we thought Manchester City was looking for a certificate to lift the trophy for the first time. . .
With one of his best European performances under Jurgen Klopp – and there have been some – Liverpool warned that perhaps the city’s painful wait could continue.
Because if they continue to play like that, the Reds can win the seventh European title this season.
Against the Serie A champions, Liverpool put in a stellar performance that, in style, was more Italian than their opponents.
City had a thrilling 5-0 win over Sporting Lisbon but the win was just as impressive on a cold and foggy night here in San Cerro.
Liverpool defended steadily, knocked Sting out of the game, Klopp made the right changes at the right time and then scored twice in the seventh minute.
Substitute Bobby Fermino scored a superb header and Salah made it 2-0 after Inter looked amazing.
The second round at Anfield on March 8 is not over yet. But it is inconceivable that Liverpool, looking so strong right now, would be disrupted.
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And with the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, Liverpool could have a trophy before Inter arrive at Mercy’s side.
It was also a big night for 18-year-old Harvey Elliott, who received final approval from Jurgen Klopp to rely on him to start such a big Champions League game at midfield.
He became the youngest starter against Liverpool and was the last dream of the boy who was raised by his father as a supporter of the Reds in the 2018 final against Real Madrid in Kiev.
He struggled to see the ball most of the time and the game passed him by, although he was not the only Reds player who found things difficult.
While this was not the time for Elliott to shine against truly powerful opponents – and he was surprisingly transformed into another half-triple substitute – there will be many, many great performances coming from this great talent.
San Cerro is at 50% capacity due to Code 19 restrictions. As a result, only 2,000 Liverpool fans were ranked third.
Liverpool took the lead in the first half without any major losses.
Lautaro Martینnez, selected before former Arsenal and Manchester United’s Prima Donna Alexis Sanchez, extended the first shot of the evening.
Sadio Mane should have kept Liverpool ahead though, but Andy Robertson’s brilliant free kick with the header surprisingly poor effort.
A charming mane, whose effort cleared the bar with one foot, couldn’t believe he was missing. Nor did his manager, Jینrgen Klopp, who put both his hands on his head in frustration.
And opposing number one Simon Anzaghi reacted exactly like Klopp when Hakan Kalhanoglu fired from a narrow angle at the bottom of the bar.
It was definitely an interesting but random match in which both the teams showed proper intent to at least attack.
Mane attempted a superb overhead kick but failed to re-try interceptor Sameer Handanovic.
Equally, some of Inter’s defenses were disappointing and he kept getting himself in trouble from behind.
Equally, he showed some danger in moving forward, although in an effort that summed up the dirty part of the first half, Milan Screener should have done much better than guiding the free header to Ellison’s right post.
At break, Diego Jotta was replaced by Fermino, who held the ball slightly better in the final third with Liverpool’s intention.
But Inter got off to a good start in the second half and in a few moments caused panic again, the quality was missing.
Ivan Perisic, who played for Klopp in Dortmund, had time to lift Martinez with a cross but the problem is that Argentina is not 10 feet tall so another good opportunity went to beg.
Klopp needed to do something because his team was being subdued and his changes were incredibly effective.
He replaced Elliott with Nabi Keita, Jordan Henderson with Fabnoho and Louis Diaz.
Diaz made almost an immediate impression as he was denied a goal-saving block by the screenwriter.
Despite this, it was one of Liverpool’s substitutes, with 15 minutes remaining, providing a moment of pure class.
Robertson gave another great set of pieces and found a header in the far corner through a fermino near the corner near his post.
Alessandro Bastonia may be getting closer to Brazil. Maybe Handanovic could get his hands on it. But it was still better than the cult hero.
And then seven minutes later, Salah stunned the crowd with another.
Alexander-Arnold’s crossfield pass was headed down by Virgil van Dijk and Salah’s shot deflected into the net with Handanovic’s roots.
And while it looked like they were heading back to Liverpool with a goalless draw, Klopp enjoyed another great night in the Champions League.
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