After some disappointing draws, Liverpool looked back to their best against Bournemouth. James Milner couldn’t be happier with the game.
“It was a better performance”, Milner told the official Liverpool website. “There was more energy and more counter-pressing, which was good. We created some chances. In the second half, maybe we came off the gas slightly, but we were still creating chances going forward and could have had more. But maybe the defensive side wasn’t as good and that allowed them to have a few chances.
“But all in all, I think it says a lot about the squad. The preparation was disrupted again with a few illnesses and things like that, so it shows the character within the squad and the quality that’s there as well.
“We started the game really well and the crowd set the tempo as well. They were brilliant from the start, even in the warm-up. There was just a different feel around the whole place and that’s what we want. We are all in it together, that unity. That’s everyone at Melwood and everyone in the squad, at the club and the fans as well. They did their job and we managed to do ours – 3-0 and hopefully we can keep that going.”
On the attacking play, Milner added that “The front three were brilliant all day. Some of their link-up play was impossible to defend: the movement, the understanding, the one-touch play. Probably the only disappointing thing is we didn’t score more. But we’re pleased to get a clean sheet and to get the three points was the main thing, obviously.
“If you are enjoying your football, then you play your best football. With the quality we have in our squad, it’s just about the players relaxing and playing to their strengths. Give it to Mo. Give it to Sadio. Let them do the stepovers, let them do the turns and the skills. That’s what they are good at. That’s what we have to do, the lads behind them – give them a solid base and give them plenty of the ball and let them go and express themselves.”
Milner admitted it himself: the previous performances were well below par. This was much more like it, and we will need more games like Bournemouth to bring the title to Anfield.