Why did Manchester City fans feel compelled to boo James Milner on Sunday? The former England international left the Etihad Stadium on pretty good terms after more than paying his dues during five campaigns with the Citizens, never making a fuss over his limited game-time and lifting two Premier League titles.
Nonetheless, the surprisingly hostile reception seemed to spur on the former City ace to produce a good performance, typified by his cool execution from the penalty spot to put Liverpool into the lead after 51 minutes.
But that was by no means the 31-year-old’s only crucial contribution of the afternoon. As our infographic shows, he also made a huge difference defensively with five tackles – including a challenge on Raheem Sterling that some argued should have been a penalty – and four clearances.
Likewise, Milner maintained his usual standards on the overlap, creating one chance and further testing City’s defence with four crosses into the box.
He may be an unusual solution to Liverpool’s left-back problem, one that certainly drew doubters earlier in the season, but Milner’s proving to be a real tactical masterstroke from Jurgen Klopp.