Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp once again decided to opt for a central midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner in a clash against one of their fellow Premier League big boys during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
The charismatic German obviously felt that the trio were the most reliable three midfielders from both a defensive and offensive point of view against Pep Guardiola’s men as they looked to keep their unbeaten record this season intact, and to try and at least maintain the seven-point gap between them and their title rivals.
However, the decision failed to pay off as the Merseyside club ended up on the losing side in Manchester, and while centre-back Dejan Lovren was to blame for his part in both goals for the hosts, Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner didn’t really cover themselves in too much glory with their performances either.
The latter in particular struggled against his former club before being replaced by Fabinho in the 56th minute, with the Reds instantly improving as a result.
The 33-year-old former England international only made one tackle and one interception during just under an hour on the field, as per WhoScored, and he failed to make an impact in the final third either by failing to register a single shot or key pass for his teammates.
Milner is usually known for his reliability in possession but even he struggled with the pressing by his opponents with his accuracy standing at just over 78% before he was replaced, and it was generally a miserable night for the Klopp favourite.
There will be a lot of calls for the Liverpool chief not to start Lovren in pivotal top-of-the-table clashes again this season as the club look to take advantage of the great position they are in to win their first ever Premier League title, but it is Milner that shouldn’t be in the XI if they want to get results against the sides around them.
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