Liverpool rallies past AC Milan in Champions League opener - The Boston Globe

by 24USATVSept. 16, 2021, 1 a.m. 26
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Jordan Henderson capped Liverpool’s second-half comeback with a brilliantly controlled finish to clinch a 3-2 win over AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday. The Liverpool captain met a clearance to the edge of the area with a half-volley that flew into the bottom corner in the 69th minute in another classic European game at Anfield. Trailing at halftime, Liverpool started the second half as it began the first and, in the 48th, Mohamed Salah made amends for his penalty failure by running into Divock Origi’s scooped pass and poking the ball past goaltender Mike Maignan, who curiously chose not to come out of the six-yard box to collect the ball. Henderson completed the comeback with his first Champions League goal in seven years . . . Paris-St. Germain’s formidable attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé was left frustrated by a spirited Club Brugge that created the best chances and defended well to earn a 1-1 draw in their Champions League group opener. Messi hit the crossbar during his 150th appearance in the competition, but could not score for his new club after PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino sent out his three superstars all together for the first time. Brugge captain Hans Vanaken drew the hosts level in the 27th minute after Mbappé set up Ander Herrera’s opener in the 15th.

Jack Grealish marked his Champions League debut with the pick of the goals in Manchester City’s wild, 6-3, win over Leipzig, whose forward Christopher Nkunku had a hat trick go for naught in the teams’ opening group-stage match. Getting the chance to play on the biggest stage in European club soccer was one of the main reasons Grealish made the move to City from boyhood club Aston Villa in the offseason for a British-record free of $139 million. Grealish’s goal in the 56th minute was the highlight of an entertaining and open game at Etihad Stadium, the midfielder picking up a loose ball on the left and cutting into the area before curling a shot high into the corner for a 4-2 lead. After Nkunku slotted home from a tight angle to complete his hat trick and give Leipzig hope of a point, goals by Joao Cancelo — a long-range effort — and Gabriel Jesus secured victory . . . Inter Milan was made to pay for its profligacy as a late goal from substitute Rodrygo saw Real Madrid snatch a 1-0 win in their Champions League opener. Rodrygo scored in the 89th minute with what was only Madrid’s second shot on target. Inter had peppered its opponents’ goal, but been denied by a string of fantastic saves by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and some wayward finishing by Milan . . . Ajax added to its scoring spree early in the season with debutant Sébastien Haller finding the net four times in the team’s 5-1 win at Sporting Lisbon in a Champions League contest in Lisbon. Making his Champion League debut for the Dutch champions, Haller scored twice in the first 10 minutes and twice again in the second half to help Ajax reach 18 goals in its last five matches.

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