Liverpool 4 AC Milan 1: Reds gear up for Man City Carabao Cup showdown with demolition of Italians

LIVERPOOL got an early Christmas gift as they got back to winning ways against AC Milan.

Mohamed Salah and Co fired the Reds to a 4-1 win over the Serie A champions to give them a nice jolt before domestic football returns with a Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City on Thursday.

AFPMohamed Salah tucks home the opening goal of the game[/caption]

ReutersLiverpool celebrate following Salah’s opener[/caption]

AFPSalah was not present at the World Cup so has remained fresh[/caption]

GettyJurgen Klopp and Stefano Pioli share a handshake[/caption]

GettyFans turned out in their droves to see the friendly[/caption]

They were in action in their second mid-season friendly, though their last showing in the Dubai Super Cup was less than stellar as they lost 3-1 to Ligue 1 side Lyon.

However, this time around Jurgen Klopp’s side followed Arsenal‘s example and beat Milan.

Klopp managed to field a strong team against the Italians, with a number of his squad available again after returning from international duty.

But the scoring was opened by a player not even at the World Cup.

Salah found the net with a composed finish inside five minutes after an incisive move from Liverpool involving Roberto Firmino and a surging run from Joel Matip.

Milan didn’t take it laying down, however, and were level again once Alexis Saelemaekers equalised just before the half-hour mark.

Spaniard Thiago ensured Liverpool went into the interval in the lead with a brilliantly struck effort into the bottom corner after the ball fell to him just outside of the area.

Stefano Pioli’s side pushed for another equaliser after the break, with Liverpool surviving a goalmouth scramble before Youns El-Halali struck the woodwork.

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However, they were left frustrated and were put to the sword by super-sub Darwin Nunez.

The Uruguayan endured a difficult World Cup as his nation were eliminated in the group stage, but put it behind him to score twice for Liverpool off the bench.

Youngster Bobby Clark, 17, set Nunez free with a brilliant pass, as the striker slotted into the bottom corner.

His second goal saw him put away a far more conventional tap in following a cross from the right flank to make it 4-1.

The customary penalty shootout followed, but Liverpool appeared to have initially left their penalty-taking boots at Anfield, as Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keita missed the opening spot-kicks.

Ismael Bennacer and Chelsea flop Tiemoue Bakayoko scored theirs to put Milan 2-0 up before Fabio Carvalho finally got the Reds on the scoreboard.

Adrian then gave Liverpool hope of a comeback after palming away Yacine Adli’s effort.

Clark then made it 2-2 to top off an exciting cameo, before El Hilali returned Milan’s advantage to 3-2.

Nunez stepped up to convert his kick, though it will not be one to watch back with both a shocking take and even more shocking goalkeeping.

The tie ended as Pierre Kalalu won the shootout to spare Milan’s blushes and pick up a point from the tournament.

Regardless of the result, Liverpool know they must be in top shape to face Man City in the Carabao Cup and then a re-energised Aston Villa on Boxing Day for the Premier League‘s return.

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