The Reds famously came from 3-0 down to beat the Italian giants on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, but should have made far easier work of disposing of Stefano Pioli’s men on their return to top level European football. Seven-time winners, Milan were playing their first Champions League match for seven years and were given a rude awakening to the step up in class but for a two-minute spell before half-time that threatened to take the game away from Liverpool.
Fikayo Tomori’s early only goal was scant reward for the home side’s early dominance as Mike Maignan saved Mohamed Salah’s penalty. But goals from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz turned the game on its head completely against the run of play. Salah levelled the scores once more before Henderson’s thunderous finish proved a deserving winner 21 minutes from time.
Jurgen Klopp took a risk with his team selection as he rested Virgil van Dijk, while Divock Origi was handed his first start of the season up front at the expense of Sadio Mane. The changes did not disrupt the Reds’ rhythm in a blistering start, but the lack of a prolific centre-forward in Klopp’s squad was again exposed.
Origi sliced wide a great chance form Andy Robertson’s cross before Diogo Jota saw a shot deflected just wide and Maignan made the first of a string of big saves from Joel Matip’s header. Liverpool’s pressure eventually paid when Trent Alexander-Arnold burst into the box from right-back and his shot was turned into his own net by Tomori.