James Milner's fiery words inspired Liverpool at Arsenal

Klopp agrees draw was a fair result, but Milner says Liverpool’s failure to win was frustrating

Arsenal’s  Alexandre Lacazette  and Liverpool goalkeeper  Alisson Becker  at the Emirates Stadium in London on Saturday.  Photograph: Ian KIngton/Getty Images

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker at the Emirates Stadium in London on Saturday. Photograph: Ian KIngton/Getty Images

 

James Milner was the man who scored Liverpool’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday, and, according to Jürgen Klopp, it was also the midfielder who offered some stern words to fire up his team at half-time.

Milner gave Liverpool the lead just after the hour mark, only for Alexandre Lacazette to equalise in the latter stages. Yet while the game was a fun intense contest for the neutral, the Liverpool manager spent much of the first half in a state of agitation, unhappy with what he deemed a substandard display from his team.

“You have a compact formation you force [Arsenal] to pass the ball somewhere – that’s pressing, it’s not that complicated,” said Klopp. “The best way is to do it right from the first moment, and then you can build on that, but we didn’t do it right from the first moment. That means there’s a time that it’s not there and we all felt like, ‘what the heck is here?’

“Milly was the one who saw it first and was quite – how can we say, was not happy – was animated. That’s good. That’s how it is in a dressing room, there is a lot of men, a lot of testosterone. One is talking – that’s me – and sometimes before I start talking the boys have a few words and that’s all. Milly is a proper leader.”

While the summer arrivals of Naby Keïta and Fabinho might have suggested the 32-year-old’s days were numbered in the team, he has been among their best players this season.

“Milly is like wine,” said Klopp. “A very good red one. I’m not sure if Leeds is famous for wine? He’s getting better. I think he should buy all of the newspapers and read this. I would like it if you write a story about James Milner.”

Klopp then shifted from appreciation to heavy sarcasm. “Obviously someone might write that he [should] play for England again. That’s a really nice idea.”

‘See it out’

While Liverpool were eight minutes away from victory, Klopp agreed a draw was a fair result, but Milner admitted their failure to win was frustrating.

“When you’re 1-0 up in a game like that you need to see it out and we didn’t do that. There are positives. Coming away from Arsenal and being disappointed with a draw is a positive, and also the amount of chances we created. It’s always going to be tough against them.”

The draw briefly took Liverpool to the top of the Premier League, before Manchester City’s victory over Southampton moved Pep Guardiola’s side two points ahead. “Yes, and I do,” said Klopp, when asked if he has to ignore City’s relentless accumulation of points.

“Actually, I’m not interested in how many points Man City gets. They have one from us [the 0-0 draw at Anfield], if they get 89 more I have no influence on that. I’m not interested, no.”

– Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.