Liverpool’s second-string side fought back to knock AC Milan out of Europe with a 2-1 victory at San Siro as goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi helped the Reds become the first English team to win all six games in a Champions League group stage.
Milan needed to win to stand any chance of progressing to the last 16 and went in front through England defender Fikayo Tomori in the first half, to the delight of the home support.
But Salah soon equalised with his 20th goal of the season in all competitions and Origi, who came on to score a stoppage-time winner against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday, headed home Liverpool’s second after the break.
Juergen Klopp’s side became the first English team to enjoy a perfect Champions League group stage campaign, finishing top of Group B with 18 points. They also notched a sixth consecutive victory in the competition for the first time in their history.
Milan came last with four points in their first Champions League campaign since 2013-14 as Atletico Madrid beat Porto 3-1 to reach the knockout stage by taking second spot with seven points, two ahead of the Portuguese side.
With top spot wrapped up before kick-off, Klopp made eight changes to his side, handing Origi a rare start after his heroics against Wolves.
San Siro was in full voice for a must-win occasion, and the noise levels rose further when Takumi Minamino missed a clearance from a corner in the 29th minute, forcing Alisson Becker to parry the ball into Tomori’s path for a simple finish.
But just as the home crowd started to believe in an improbable final-day rise into the top two, Salah struck.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain skipped into the box and his shot was beaten away by Mike Maignan, but the Egyptian reacted quickly to fire home.
Salah became the first Liverpool player to score 20 or more goals in five consecutive seasons since Ian Rush, who did so for six campaigns in a row between 1981 and 1987.
Tomori was punished when he gave the ball away to Sadio Mane in front of his goal after the break, as the winger’s shot was well blocked by Maignan, only for Origi to head in the rebound.
It was the Belgium international’s first goal in the Champions League since he scored in the 2019 final against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Rossoneri played with more purpose in the second half but could not find an equaliser, Franck Kessie squandering their best chance when he was denied one-on-one by Alisson.