James Milner put in a wonderful display against Southampton at St Mary’s. He was a huge part of Liverpool’s win.
Jurgen Klopp firmly put his trust in Liverpool’s squad players against Southampton. He made nine changes from the XI that won the FA Cup on Saturday – and understandably so. That team must have been exhausted and only Alisson and Ibrahima Konate retained their places.
It meant the likes of Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino stepped into the starting XI. They delivered, too, with the latter scoring Liverpool’s equaliser.
But we want to pick out one starting XI player who truly showed his worth as Liverpool won 2-1. James Milner battered Southampton all game long with a magnificent display. And right while his future is up in the air.
James Milner vs Southampton
Milner started in the middle at St Mary’s, playing a holding midfield role between Elliott and Jones. An injury to Joe Gomez shifted him to right-back at half-time, though.
The fact he consistently delivered in two different positions is remarkable. This being a 36-year-old who played a sizeable chunk of the cup final on Saturday – you wouldn’t know it.
Milner completed 93% of his passes here (only Joel Matip completed more than his 83, too, with 86). The veteran midfielder also managed four tackles – a game-high – at a 100% success rate. That’s simply outstanding and Milner even made an interception and won two headers to go with all of that.
What really stands out is that Milner created six chances for teammates, though. That was 3x what Southampton managed as a team and, unsurprisingly, was another game-high.
The Times reports that Milner isn’t sure if he wants to stay with Liverpool next season in a reduced role. It’s abundantly clear how much they’d miss him, however – how many players can deliver that kind of performance in the Premier League? How many can do it in two different positions?
We really hope Milner gets a new contract but he’s comfortably good enough to continue delivering for Liverpool. If he wants to stay, the Reds must make it happen.