Liverpool accused of ‘taking liberties’ in AC Milan clash as Rio Ferdinand sounds warning

Liverpool v AC Milan: Match in pictures

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Liverpool have been accused of taking liberties during their blockbuster clash with AC Milan on Wednesday night, when the Reds had to come from behind to claim a dramatic victory. Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand had some harsh words after the game, despite their victory, with flaws in their performance carrying the potential to hurt them later in the season.

The vast majority of the first half was Liverpool’s after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deflected strike put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead within 10 minutes.

Mohamed Salah missed a penalty to double their lead moments later, and the Reds felt comfortable enough to throw bodies forward before half-time.

However, that left them susceptible, and two counter-attack goals within two minutes turned the whole encounter on its head prior to the break.

Ferdinand told BT Sport after the game: “That’s overcommitting and taking liberties because their fans are behind them and they’re feeling invincible.

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“They’re ahead and dominating the game.

“Sometimes you do take liberties and overcomplicate where you get bodies further forward than you should do.”

Eventually, second-half goals from Salah and Jordan Henderson got the Reds out of jail, but Ferdinand’s comments should stand as a warning for the season ahead.

Anfield is notoriously rowdy on Champions League nights, and Liverpool perhaps forgot the calibre of side they were dealing with after working up a head of steam.

AC Milan are no slouches. While they fell away towards the end of last season, they have made a lightning start this time around, notching three wins from three in Serie A.

The Rossoneri pushed Liverpool to their limits, and the Reds cannot afford to be naive in future matches as Atletico Madrid and Porto make up a tough Champions League group.

Overcommitment could also come back to bite them in the Premier League, with barely any mistakes permitted if they are to fight for the title.

Such is the strength of their domestic rivals, any dropped points are likely to be pounced on by the likes of United, Chelsea or Manchester City.

The one lifeline enjoyed by the Reds is the fact Virgil van Dijk watched on from the bench.

The Dutchman’s searing pace and impeccable reading of the game could have averted at least one of the counter-attack goals conceded against Milan.

If nothing else, Wednesday night’s encounter served as a reminder of how quickly things can go south against high-quality opposition, a welcome warning for Klopp and his side given they still came away with the three points.

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