Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League last night but not for the want of trying. The Reds battered on the Real Madrid door for the whole 90 minutes yet squandered chances saw us eliminated. One man was in fine form, replacing James Milner will be a tough task and his Real Madrid display showed that.
The first 45 minutes in Madrid and the wasted chances at Anfield were enough to see Liverpool deservedly knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.
Jürgen Klopp’s men gave themselves a mountain to climb and in the end the incline was too steep.
We came up against a thoroughly professional and experienced side who weren’t about to give us an inch.
When they did give us an inch or two we didn’t capitalise, the game would’ve had a much different complexion had Mo Salah converted his chance in the opening couple of minutes.
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It was a goalless draw on the night but far from a drab affair with the defending impressive and plenty of chances created.
James Milner v Real Madrid
There were a few eyebrows raised when the starting lineup was released.
Some were expecting a more attacking team from the off, instead the boss opted for legs in the midfield.
Those legs in midfield did their job, James Milner was irrepressible against Real Madrid.
The midfielder was storming all over the pitch, putting in tackles and making interceptions.
In the second half we saw him arriving in the box at just the right time to deny Karim Benzema.
Eventually Milner was withdrawn on the hour mark as we moved to a more attacking set up.
Replacing James Milner
At 35-years-old he was still one of the most energetic players on the pitch.
Last night showed that replacing James Milner will be no easy task.
The experience he showed and the way he motivates those around him is invaluable.
We will lose Gini Wijnaldum this summer and that will be a blow.
It could be even harder replacing James Milner in the years to come.