Breathless, beautiful and brilliant.
The Champions League is back and, on a dramatic night across Europe, the competition delivered a reminder of why it can produce memorable, must-watch football.
While Tuesday’s action failed to get pulses significantly racing, Wednesday produced 28 goals as well as myriad stories and sub-plots.
Liverpool played out a thriller with Milan,Manchester City hit six, an ex-West Ham striker set the evening alight and Lionel Messi underwhelmed – and that was just the start of it.
It was a matchday that had managers, players and pundits confused and delighted.
Liverpool v AC Milan – the fixture that keeps on giving
Liverpool and AC Milan don’t seem able to do normal games of football when they meet. Thankfully.
Having between them produced arguably the greatest European Cup final of all time in 2005, when the Reds came back from 3-0 down to win the trophy on penalties, they then gave us Milan’s revenge in another gripping tournament-deciding showdown two years later.
On Wednesday, they produced another see-saw classic that saw the Reds take the lead, miss a penalty, somehow give away two goals late in the first half and then rally in the second to claim the win through Jordan Henderson’s magnificent half-volley.
Not a bad welcome back for supporters to Anfield, who were enjoying their first Champions League game at the ground since March 2020.