Two late goals saw Liverpool get a crucial Champions League chance in the first leg of the Last 16 against Inter on Wednesday night in a tense match at the San Siro.
Roberto Firmino’s changed the header and Mohamed Salah’s deviant finish were the difference as Nerazzurri’s decision was finally broken.
The visitors got better in the first half, even though it was Inter who were very close to 45 minutes of football. The low fog had an impact on the unique atmosphere, with cool noise despite reduced volume due to Covid-19 limitations.
Lautaro Martinez hit a stanchion from the edge of the box for five minutes, before Thiago Alcantara fired a volley from the roof of the net on the other side. Sadio Mane turned down Liverpool’s best chance of the season when he headed in Andy Robertson’s free-kick from just six yards.
He was almost made to pay for that missed two minutes later when Hakan Calhanoglu emerged from the Reds’ box after Ivan Perisic’s fine performance on the left, but he thwarted his effort against the crossbar.
Mane got another chance midway through, but he ruled out a kick at the top of the ball and hit the net on the sidelines. Trent Alexander-Arnold then went up and hit a wide free kick in the upper left corner.
Inter started the second half on the front foot and caused problems for Liverpool with their solid midfield. They were strong on the other hand, too, and Milan Skriniar did very well to block the effort of substitute player Luis Diaz.
However, despite looking for many opportunities to move forward they were brought back to earth with a quarter of an hour to go when Firmino got up and met Robertson’s corner and hit ahead in the far corner.
Perisic was very close to the target, but his powerful side-foot sailed over Alisson’s crossbar. With seven minutes to go, Salah put Jurgen Klopp’s side in the tie drive, sweeping a curved shot after Virgil van Dijk knocked down and knocked out the rest of the home.