James Milner took the blame for a comical goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday. The vice-captain ‘combined’ with Virgil van Dijk and Alisson to give Ryan Babel a tap-in.
Liverpool had a relatively comfortable 1-0 lead at Craven Cottage as Milner entered play as a substitute. The Reds needed security, however.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite arrive as the 33-year-old sliced his clearance backwards, high up in the air. If that wasn’t bad enough, van Dijk hesitated before playing a tame header back to Alisson.
The goalkeeper then wasn’t quite strong enough, letting the ball skip past him as Babel followed for a simple finish.
Despite three players making mistakes, Milner took all the blame for the Fulham goal in an interview after the game.
“It was me who put him [van Dijk] in the mire, to be fair,” he told Sky Sports. “The gaffer said ‘come on and calm it down’ so the first thing I did was slice it over the top and put Virgil under pressure, which wasn’t ideal.”
Milner did make up for things, though. Sadio Mane won a penalty with ten minutes to go and the number 7 stepped up to fire home the winner.
“Obviously what’s gone before [Fulham’s goal], I feel like that’s my fault,” said Milner when asked about the penalty. “It was important to put it away and I’ve made up for that.”
Milner’s penalty rescued the points for Liverpool and puts them two points clear at the top of the Premier League.