It’s really nice to be sitting on the right side of three points after a game as nervy and a performance as lackluster as the one we saw this weekend. It’s also pretty nice to see the number of players dissecting and taking the blame for the single Fulham goal (thanks for that, Ryan Babel) that Liverpool let in. Virgil van Dijk has borne the brunt of the blame so far, something he’s more than willing to accept, but vice-captain and late substitute, James Milner, believes some of the blame should fall on his shoulders, too.
“It was me who put him [Van Dijk] in the mire, to be fair!” Milner told Sky Sports in his post-match interview. “The gaffer said ‘come on and calm it down’, so the best thing to do is to slice it over the top and put Virg under pressure, which wasn’t ideal! But luckily enough we got the result and did what we needed to do.”
The result in question came soon after when Sergio Rico very clumsily and very obviously brought Sadio Mané down in the penalty box. Milner was on hand to slot the resulting penalty past Rico and into the back of the net.
“I think obviously what’s gone before, I feel that’s probably my fault,” Milner added. “The goal, it’s important I put it away and made up for that, but there’s years of practice gone into my penalties, and in the game you’ve just got to go back to what you’ve been practising, be calm, and know what you’re going to do.”
It was a result we needed and somehow received despite a few moments of sheer panic in the middle. Onwards, upwards, and much better from the Reds, we hope.