Last season, Liverpool’s outstanding attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah were earning most of the plaudits, both domestically and in Europe. So far this season, Liverpool’s midfield has started gaining some overdue respect, starting with one of Tuesday night’s stand-out performers: James Milner.
The 32-year-old former England international had a fantastic Champions League campaign last year, setting an all-time single season record for assists in the competition. Despite this, he was largely written off by fans and pundits alike, assuming his starting gig would be supplanted by new and/or younger talent. Instead, he’s started this season where he left off last time, showing time and again why Jurgen Klopp needs to keep him in the side.
His midfield performance against one of the tournament favorites, Paris Saint-Germain, is yet another example of his skill, workrate, and veteran’s composure. Milner, along with fellow midfielders Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, was instrumental in largely stifling PSG’s dangerous attack (whilst turning Neymar in to a meme in the process), and was cool when needed, perfectly slotting a first-half penalty.
Now, he’s up for UEFA’s Champion League Player of the Week, alongside Lionel Messi, Nabil Fekir, and some other guy. You can vote for your vice captain here.