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1st in touches, tackles, headers, key passes: Klopp rightly labels Liverpool player's performance as 'outstanding'

James Milner led Liverpool in four different statistics against Newcastle United. Jurgen Klopp called his performance ‘outstanding’.

James Milner started for Liverpool earlier today – only his eighth in the Premier League this season. It came at one of his old clubs, too, in Newcastle United.

The Reds’ vice-captain got 78 minutes at St James’ Park, in fact. That’s the most he’s managed since before Christmas when Liverpool went to Tottenham Hotspur on December 19th. It’s been that kind of season for the veteran midfielder.

But an intense week of football forced Jurgen Klopp to rotate his side for this one, bringing Milner into the mix. It proved to be an inspired decision. In fact, the boss had nothing but great things to say about his player after the 1-0 win.

“Yeah, outstanding,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “Millie is incredibly important for us, that’s very important because people think if you talk about the dressing room… yes, it is helpful.

“He’s very helpful there, especially with a manager who is not a native speaker. But, on the pitch as well, he played a super game. Super game.”

James Milner for Liverpool vs Newcastle United

So just how good was Milner here? To sum it up quickly – he led Liverpool in four different stats on the day.

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

No one in the entire game has more touches than the 36-year-old, for instance (74). That’s actually an incredible stat, given he didn’t quite make it to 80 minutes. No one won more headers for Liverpool (3), created more chances (4) or won more tackles (3).

This was an all-action performance and exactly what Liverpool needed as Newcastle attempted to match their energy levels. In fact, those stats leave out that Milner essentially created the Reds’ goal with a fantastic tackle on Fabian Schar.

A truly ‘outstanding’ performance, as Klopp put it. Liverpool needed Milner to step up and he did exactly that.

All stats per Whoscored.

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