Mohamed Salah scored his 20th goal of the season and Divock Origi was again on target as Liverpool dumped AC Milan out of the Champions League by becoming the first English team to win all six of their group matches and finish with a perfect record courtesy of a 2-1 success at the San Siro.
The Rossoneri needed to secure a Matchday Six victory to stand any chance of progressing from Group B but could not condemn the much-changed visitors to a defeat and will now drop out of Europe after finishing bottom of the pool.
Stefano Pioli’s side did give themselves early hope on 29 minutes when former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori fired home Alisson’s parry after the Merseysiders failed to deal with a right-wing corner.
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However, Liverpool responded swiftly and Salah fizzed a tricky first-time finish beyond Mike Maignan seven minutes later after the Milan stopper had kept out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s thumping shot.
It saw the Egyptian reach the milestone of 20+ goals in a season for a fifth straight campaign to become the first player since Ian Rush to achieve the feat. The forward also set a new club record for goals scored in the group stage of a European competition (7) and is the first Reds player to net in five group games of the same season.
Milan needed to find another gear following the interval but it was Liverpool who posed the greater threat and they stole in front on 55 minutes.
Origi was handed a rare start following his match-winning exploits at Wolves and he duly delivered by nodding in the rebound after Sadio Mane had seized upon an error and forced a strange save out of Maignan.
The home side could not muster a fight back meaning Atletico Madrid join Liverpool in the Last 16 following their victory at FC Porto, who drop into the Europa League.
Next up, Liverpool host Aston Villa on Saturday in a Premier League showdown that sees Steven Gerrard return to Anfield in the opposition’s dugout. Serie A leaders, Milan visit Udinese.

TALKING POINT

Liverpool and Salah light up Europe again. It doesn’t get much better than that for Liverpool. Klopp made eight changes to his side but still came up with a sixth win out of six in Group B to send one of the great, traditional names crashing out of Europe.
The Merseysiders will be seeded in the Last 16 draw on Monday and will play the first leg of their tie away from home against one of the runners-up. The Reds could face the likes of PSG, Sporting Lisbon and Inter Milan (with four groups still to be decided), but one thing’s for sure; no-one will want to face the six-time winners of the trophy, particularly with a red-hot Salah scoring goals for fun.
You simply run out of superlatives for the Egyptian, who again set records on a night when many were expecting him to be given a rest. It’s still December and he already has 20 to his name, which begs the question as to whether he could go on to eclipse his impressive tally of 44 that he plundered back in 2017-18. On this form, you wouldn’t bet against him and such a haul could only mean good things for Liverpool’s quest for the major prizes.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Liverpool). It would be too easy to pick Salah once again. Instead, this award goes to the man whose brilliant run and fizzing shot led to the visitors’ equaliser. The Ox has shown several signs that he is finding some of his old form this term and can provide a real surge of attacking energy from the centre of the park. He offers something a bit different to the other midfielders at Klopp’s disposal and displays like this will only add to his growing confidence.

PLAYER RATINGS

AC MILAN: Maignan 6, Kalulu 6, Romagnoli 6, Tomori 7, Hernandez 6, Tonali 6, Kessie 7, Messias 6, Diaz 6, Krunic 6, Ibrahimovic 6. Subs: Bennacer 6, Saelemaekers 6, Florenzi 6, Bakayoko n/a.

LIVERPOOL: Alisson 6, N. Williams 7, Konate 7, Phillips 7, Tsimikas 7, Morton 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 8, Minamino 7, Salah 8, Origi 7, Mane 7. Subs: Gomez 6, Keita 6, Fabinho n/a, Woltman n/a, Bradley n/a.
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

29’ - GOAL! – AC Milan 1-0 Liverpool. Tomori pounces to fire home from close range after Alisson could only parry a low corner from the right into his path.
36’ - GOAL! – AC Milan 1-1 Liverpool. Salah gobbles up the rebound after a wonderful run and shot from Oxlade Chamberlain was parried by Maignan.
55’ - GOAL! – AC Milan 1-2 Liverpool. Origi brilliantly nods home after Mane had seized upon a mistake at the back and forced a save out of Maignan.
69’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Almost three. Origi is left in acres of space to meet a right-wing cross but plants his header inches wide of the post.
85’ – AC MILAN CHANCE! Kessie looks to be clear but sees his shot brilliantly kept out by Alisson.

KEY STATS

Tomori is only the third English player to score a Champions League goal against an English opponent while playing for a non-English side, after Patrick Roberts for Celtic v Man City in 2016 and Jude Bellingham for Borussia Dortmund v Man City in 2021.
Salah is the first player to score 20+ goals in five consecutive seasons for Liverpool in all competitions since Ian Rush from 1981-82 to 1986-87 (six in a row).
Origi scored his first goal in 15 Champions League appearances since scoring in the 2019 final against Spurs, while he has scored in back-to-back appearances in a single season in all competitions for the first time since May 2019.
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