Liverpool’s NextGen campaign got off to a poor start as, despite the scoreline they struggled against the reigning champions Inter Milan in a 3-2 defeat. Liverpool went into the game with many players missing due to their involvement with the first team at Europa League level while Inter fielded a strong side, including five members of last season’s championship winning team.
Inter Milan were dominant in possession, a trait they showcased in last year’s edition, and while The Reds showed plenty of endeavour it was to no surprise that Inter Milan capitalised on defensive errors to take an early lead a little over a quarter of an hour into the fixture when Franceso Forte fired home.
Then came Liverpool’s best passage of the game; sparked into life by going a goal down; and they were given reward for such play when Simone Pasa fouled Jordan Sinclair inside the box and Kristjan Adorjan smoothly dispatched the resultant penalty.
The status quo was however reinstated immediately and before the break Inter deservedly retook their lead when Nicolo Belloni latched onto Forte’s left wing delivery and finished well.
The second half started well for the visitors as Inter goalkeeper Raffaele Dalla Veldove became a highly active player including a stunning save to prevent Sinclair from grabbing a Liverpool equaliser.
However as Liverpool committed more players forward in search of an equaliser Inter became invariably more dangerous on the counter attack and eventually it told as a sweeping move from the Nerazzurri ended with Luca Garritano given Inter a now seemingly unassailable lead.
Liverpool showed a lot of character however and continued to press forward, never giving up on the tie and Adorjan, Liverpool’s stand out performer, delightfully curled a free-kick past the Inter keeper late on for a consolation tie.
Despite Inter’s dominance on the ball Liverpool will be buoyed by their ability to grab two goals against one of the tournament favourites with many of their big names missing. With Suso, Morgan and Yesil expected to play a part this season expect Liverpool to do more in the rest of the campaign.
In the other games Aston Villa picked up their first points with a 2-1 win over Celtic; Juventus were comfortable winners against PSG while there were ominous signs from Ajax as they looked imperious in a 5-0 drubbing of Norwegian side Molde. Last season’s star Victor Fischer bagged a hat-trick as they put down an early claim to the throne.