Liverpool vs. AC Milan: Score and Reaction from 2016 ICC

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2016

Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (6) chases the ball as AC Milan's Luiz Adriano pursues during the first half of an International Champions Cup soccer match Saturday, July 30, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Liverpool overwhelmed AC Milan in Saturday's International Champions Cup showdown at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, 2-0.

It was the second ICC match for each side, and Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino spearheaded Liverpool's efforts with the two goals. The Premier League team was also impressive on the defensive side, as Milan's offense failed to score despite a handful of solid opportunities. 

Milan, which plays in the Serie A in Italy, stayed within striking distance thanks to solid play from goalkeeper Gabriel, but Liverpool's consistent pressure was eventually too much with two second half goals. The Reds finished with 60 percent of the possession and 12 shots compared to seven from Milan, per ESPN FC.

Despite the two second-half goals and offensive momentum from the victorious Liverpool, neither team found the back of the net in the first half. However, Liverpool controlled the pace and finished the opening 45 minutes with 62 percent of the possession and five shots to Milan's two, according to ESPN FC. However, the Rossoneri had the answer on the defensive side for the early forward pushes.

Gabriel was strong in the first half and turned away a scoring opportunity from Sadio Mane at the 41st minute. Mane's shot from the right side of the box went toward the top corner, but AC Milan noted the goalkeeper was too much:

The stalemate continued in the early going in the second half until Liverpool finally broke through with the game's first goal in the 59th minute.

Origi gained control of the ball on the left side of the box and unleashed a handful of nifty moves before ripping a shot into the far corner of the goal. Gabriel was excellent for the majority of the contest, but he finally had no answer for the creative play from Origi and the bending shot that found the net.

Milan nearly had a response a few minutes later when M'Baye Niang had a header in the box, but he sailed it past the bar. Origi then appeared to push the game to 2-0 in Liverpool's favor, but it was called back for offsides.

Fortunately for the Reds, they did score a second goal when a deflected pass found the left foot of Firmino and he buried the opportunity right in front of the net. It put Liverpool ahead 2-0 in the 73rd minute, and the theme of domination from the side continued as they maintained the offensive pressure. 

While it was a fortuitous bounce for Liverpool, they controlled play and created the break. What's more, Firmino delivered with "a terrific slide," as the International Champions Cup recognized:

Liverpool shared the aftermath of the sliding effort:

It was the last defining moment of the game, and Liverpool finished off the 2-0 victory. Afterwards, Reds' boss Jurgen Klopp was particularly enthused by the striking colour of the team's kit, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

He was also pleased with the swagger his side showed on the night. "Playing dominant football like this and then reacting on balls we lose, like we did in the counter-pressing situations—that's the only moment where there should be a little moment of hectic, all the rest should be calm and dominant," he said per Glenn Price of ESPN FC. "I'm pleased with the performance of the whole team."

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