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Inter Milan vs Liverpool. UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round.

Giuseppe MeazzaAttendance37,918.

Inter Milan 0

    Liverpool 2

    • R Firmino (75th minute)
    • M Salah (83rd minute)

    Inter 0-2 Liverpool: Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah's San Siro goals help seize control of Champions League tie

    Match report as Liverpool took a huge step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a two-goal away win in the first leg against Inter

    Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool vs Inter Milan
    Image: Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool vs Inter Milan

    Goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah earned a 2-0 win over Inter Milan in the San Siro to put Liverpool in complete control of their Champions League tie.

    Jurgen Klopp's side had to withstand pressure against the Italian champions but those two second-half goals mean Liverpool are well placed to reach the quarter-finals.

    Inter had their moments with Hakan Calhanoglu coming closest when he latched onto Ivan Perisic's centre and struck the underside of the crossbar with Alisson beaten.

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    Inter: Handanovic (5), Skriniar (6), De Vrij (6), Bastoni (6), Dumfries (7), Vidal (7), Brozovic (6), Calhanoglu (7), Perisic (7), Martinez (6), Dzeko (6).

    Subs Sanchez (6), Ranocchia (n/a), Gagliardini (n/a), Darmian (n/a).

    Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (7), Konate (8), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (7), Fabinho (6), Thiago (6), Elliott (6), Salah (7), Jota (7), Mane (6).

    Subs: Firmino (8), Diaz (7), Keita (6), Henderson (6), Milner (n/a).

    Man of the match: Ibrahima Konate.

    While Edin Dzeko also had a goal disallowed for offside, Alisson did not actually have a save to make thanks to strong defensive performances from Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk.

    When Firmino came off the bench to score, quickly followed by Salah doubling the lead, Liverpool became strong favourites to progress to the last eight going into the second leg at Anfield.

    Team news

    Simone Inzaghi made two changes to the team that drew with Napoli on Saturday as Alessandro Bastoni was declared fit and the experienced Arturo Vidal was also drafted in.

    Jurgen Klopp was able to name Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota in his attack but the big news was a first start since September for teenager Harvey Elliott.

    Konate growing into role alongside Van Dijk

    Not many will be surprised to see Liverpool emerge as two-goal winners and anyone watching the highlights will think this was yet another example of their big-game forwards making the difference. Firmino's header was superb. Salah's finish was typical.

    But this was a tough test for the Liverpool defence and Konate deserves huge credit for his role in the team's clean sheet alongside the ever imperious Van Dijk. The 22-year-old uncapped Frenchman had some big moments at the back as Inter were pushing.

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    His outstretched boot to prevent Dzeko latching onto a cross from the right almost certainly denied Inter the opening goal. Central defence was not a weakness for Liverpool. But with Konate growing into his role, it is an area in which they might be getting stronger.

    Klopp: 'We had to find a way'

    "It was an incredibly physical game so we had to find a way," Klopp told BT Sport.

    "I think we started really well and we had to play around their formation in the beginning. Then it came up a bit and it's some pretty direct play they have with the switches to the wing-backs and we didn't defend that too well. In a game like this, you have to keep the ball longer and that didn't happen often enough.

    "But we cannot come here and hope you'll have a brilliant day and that's the only chance to get a result. We didn't have a brilliant day but a good enough day to be deserved winners because we scored two wonderful goals. Yes, they had their moments, but mainly counter-attacks when we lost the ball in the wrong spaces."

    Injury fears over Jota are only concern

    Klopp had preferred Diogo Jota to Firmino in his starting line-up and the Portugal forward looked bright in the first half after recovery from the dead leg that caused him to be named among the substitutes against Burnley at the weekend. But Jota was forced from the field at half-time in Milan.

    "I'm really happy with everything, apart from that Diogo had to go off with something around the ankle ligament," said Klopp. "We will see, we don't know exactly. He could have played on, maybe that's a good sign, but at half-time, the ankle was swollen anyway so we knew we had to change. Apart from that, it's another adult performance and I'm really happy about that."

    Inzaghi proud of Inter performance

    While disappointed with the result, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi could have few complaints with his team's performance. "I think this match was good," he said.

    "We have to be proud. We played against one of the best teams in Europe and for 65 minutes we deserved to win it but it didn't happen and we didn't manage to score."

    What's next for Liverpool?

    Live EFL Cup

    Liverpool are back at Anfield on Saturday to face Norwich in the Premier League with an opportunity to close the gap, albeit possibly for only a matter of hours, on leaders Manchester City. Another home game follows against Leeds United on Wednesday February 23, before the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea on February 27, live on Sky Sports.

    The second leg of this Champions League tie takes place at Anfield on Tuesday March 8.

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