Sky Sports pundit: Liverpool 32-year-old just 'amazes me'
By Richard Parks
Sky Sports pundit Tony Cascarino has claimed that he is “amazed” by the astonishing versatility and all-round excellence of James Milner.
The former striker was blown away by the 32-year-old’s performance as the Merseyside giants put Porto to the sword with a 5-0 demolition in their last-16 Champions League first leg clash on Wednesday night.
Milner, who was used almost exclusively at left-back last season, played in a central midfield three alongside Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum as Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropped to the bench following the weekend win at Southampton.
A Sadio Mane hat-trick and goals from his fellow forwards Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah sealed a memorable triumph for Jurgen Klopp’s side in their first Champions League knockout match for nine years.
“Klopp went for experience with his midfield three of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum, and it paid off,” wrote Cascarino, who has a regular punditry slot on Sky Sports, in the Times.
“They won possession so often and restricted Porto to one good chance in the first half. Milner in particular amazes me: he played left back for most of last season, and then he comes into midfield, having not played much this season, and does an admirable job.
“Liverpool have a way of playing that requires great discipline, and those three ran their backsides off. When Philippe Coutinho was in midfield, he was always a bit of a luxury; I don’t think you’ll see so many turnaround results like the 3-3 against Seville with him gone.”
Milner has been a key squad player for Liverpool this season, accumulating 31 appearances in all competitions, including 14 starts.
The former Manchester City, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Leeds United player has predominantly been used in his favourite central midfield role, with Andrew Robertson and Alberto Moreno sharing left-back duties.
In other Liverpool news, fans will LOVE this brilliant Neil Lennon anecdote of Virgil van Dijk’s first Celtic training session.
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