BBC pundit Garth Crooks has included Sadio Mane and James Milner in his team of the week after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Fulham.
Both Mane and Milner got goals in the win. Mane shone, in particular, scoring the opener and winning a late penalty.
“He ran the show in the first half and hit the bar in the second,” Crooks said of Mane for BBC Sport.
“With Roberto Firmino never quite at the party and Mohamed Salah struggling to hit the back of the net, it was left to Sadio Mane to provide the inspiration.”
It’s Mane’s 11th goal in 11 games – he’s a player on the top of his game right now.
Milner was an interesting inclusion, however. For one thing, Crooks includes him as a defender, despite him playing as a midfielder.
He was a substitute for the match, coming on in the second half. He quickly made a bad error that led to Fulham’s goal, though – something he readily admitted afterwards.
Still, he did convert the winner from the penalty spot. Milner was under plenty of pressure but he stepped up to put Fulham away, earning a team of the week spot.
“There is no doubt about it, Liverpool are not firing on all cylinders,” said Crooks. “But they can call on certain players in a crisis and James Milner is one of those players.
“His introduction into the game minutes before the award of the spot kick was crucial. They were gifted a penalty and the one player unmoved by completing the task was Milner.”
He certainly scored a vital goal, even if he did play a part in Fulham’s equaliser. Team of the week worthy? Perhaps not, but there’s no doubt that Milner has scored a vital goal in the title race.