On a day when brilliant individual performances were combined together for a stunning team display, James Milner stood out as one of the men key to Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Hull City.
The Englishman is well known for his versatility and has played in a number of positions over his lengthy career and this season, his second in a Liverpool shirt, saw manager Jürgen Klopp assign him to a left-back role.
It is worth mentioning that Milner wasn’t overly familiar with the role and that it took him some time to settle in after Alberto Moreno was dropped, but the former Manchester City man committed himself to learning the role earlier this month – a testament to his professionalism – and now only a few weeks later, the fruits of his work are clear to see.
Against Hull, Milner was a composed figure at left-back whose presence was key to denying Robert Snodgrass the influence the winger always threatens to have on the Tigers’ attacking moves. An early tackle on Abel Hernandez set the tone for a defensively sound performance and that few of the newly-promoted side’s attacks came from the left was a welcomed relief following the many that came when Moreno was playing.
Milner also made some big attacking contributions on Saturday afternoon. The midfielder was involved in Liverpool’s first goal, exchanging passes with Philippe Coutinho, before Adam Lallana scored. The Reds earned two penalties on either side of the halves and Milner stepped up to score both, preserving his one hundred percent record from the spot. He always looked a threat going forward and linked up well with fellow attackers Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané.
This performance underlined Milner’s true worth to the Reds side. Few players willing to play in any position for the good of the team nowadays can be found and that Liverpool has one in their vice-captain is a positive that should never be overlooked.
He deserves all the credit that goes his way. If the Anfield faithful can go on meltdown over a terrible Moreno display, praise for Milner needs to be shown to the very same extent.
Klopp seems to have solved yet another problem thanks to the midfielder and the German will be confident that the man he labels a complete footballer can continue doing the business at full-back.
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