Milan boss Pioli makes “dangerous” Liverpool claim after Champions League loss

AC Milan squandered a hard-fought lead against Liverpool in their Champions League opener, with manager Stefano Pioli admitting they were “really punished” by Jurgen Klopp’s side

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Liverpool v AC Milan: Match in pictures

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli labelled Liverpool “dangerous” while admitting his side were overpowered in their Champions League defeat on Wednesday night.

Milan gave the Reds a brilliant game at Anfield and overturned a 1-0 deficit at the end of the first half thanks to quick-fire goals from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz against the run of play.

But Liverpool’s dominance paid off after the interval as Mohamed Salah made up for his earlier penalty miss with a goal and Jordan Henderson struck the winner.

While Pioli was pleased with Milan’s character in the 3-2 loss, he confesses Jurgen Klopp’s side were a level above his in terms of quality and intensity.

Stefano Pioli watched on as AC Milan came from behind to lead only to lose 3-2 against Liverpool

“We played a really tough opponent and we put in a huge effort right to the very end,” said the Italian. “It is pretty indicative of the level we have achieved thus far.

Liverpool are at a high level but we are not quite there yet. We will use this game to develop further and to gain experience in this competition.

“Liverpool are dangerous. Probably we could have done a bit more but the level of our opponents really punished us on those occasions, that’s why we paid for the errors we made.

“They played a game of high quality and high intensity and in certain situations we weren’t just up to it from a physical point of view. We tried to withstand all of that and maybe not as well as we could have done.

“Conceding the goal at 2-2 gave them the opportunity to go at us right until the very end.”

Pioli also lamented the fact Milan did not extend their advantage while Liverpool were shellshocked after conceding twice in two minutes at the end of the first half.

“We were very good after the first 25 minutes, when we found ourselves having a tough time,” he added.

“We went into the lead and were a couple of inches way from going 3-1 up and that might have changed things and taken things away from Liverpool.

“Obviously 3-2 is something we regret to a certain extent. It is a shame we got caught out with that set-piece towards the end.

Who is the greatest player to wear the No. 9 shirt for Liverpool? Have your say here.

“We are the youngest team in the group so coming up against a team like Liverpool is a huge challenge.

“We are playing against a really good team used to playing at this level. If we play as a team we can give anybody a game at this level.”

Milan and Liverpool will meet at San Siro in their final Group B fixture in early December. In the meantime, they will each face Porto and Atletico Madrid in home and away fixtures.

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