James Milner’s start on Saturday against Bournemouth saw him reach a crowning achievement of playing in his 500th career match. Milner, who played the full 90 minutes of the match, started at right back for the first time this season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp choose Milner at right back over Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was on the bench. “It’s no problem. I thought it could be a problem, but obviously he would have even played goalkeeper in game number 500!” Klopp said before the match. “We need to be flexible, all of us, in the period – different positions, different jobs to do in the games. But it’s only slightly different and Millie knows it from his time at left-back.”
Milner was the first choice leftback for the entire 2016-17 Liverpool campaign. Following the match, Mo Salah recognized Milner’s achievement by giving James his Man of the Match award.
Wonderful gesture of Mohammed Salah to Milner.— Castle of the Kop (@castleofthekop) December 8, 2018
Very humble ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xzc4mRF1WF
Andy Robertson, the man who eventually replaced Milner as the starting left-back for Liverpool, had this to say about James and the match: “What a career he has had. He has played at the top for all of it and played for some really good clubs.”
“He is still the fittest in the squad and is still pushing himself every single day. I’m sure he’ll go on and do incredible numbers.” Robertson said. “What a fantastic achievement for him. Boys can only dream of that and he has managed to do it at a very high level with a lot of trophies. He’ll be hoping to add a few more at this club. Hopefully we can do that. Today, it’s all about him – the performance and three points are for him because it’s a special day for him, his family and all the people close to him. So, fair play to him.”