James Milner did more in one half than most do in a full game

Liverpool’s victory over Spartak Moscow didn’t just see the Reds top their Champions League group, but it also extended their unbeaten record in all competitions to nine games.

Since their humbling defeat at Wembley against a rampant Spurs side in October, Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to lose a game. But even more impressively, they’ve scored 32 goals in that time, that’s an average of 3.5 goals per game. Wednesday night was no exception, as Spartak were given a seven goal thumping.

And amongst the great performances, the plaudits will go to the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. But even though he only played half of the game, James Milner’s performance after coming on for the injured Alberto Moreno may well get overlooked. It shouldn’t.

The versatile midfielder’s stats were really quite stunning. Three assists in only one half of football is mightily impressive, and although 53 touches may not seem like a case of utter domination, if you multiply it by two it gives you some insight into what the stats would look like hed he played the full 90 minutes. Coutinho, who played 90 minutes, managed 100 touches, the most of any player. Milner, adjusted for inflation, averaged more.

And yet, in a game in which Liverpool dominated and won with a massive scoreline, the former England man also managed to make two tackles – the only two he attempted.

It was an effective performance from a man who hasn’t featured too often for Liverpool this season, but if Moreno is injured for the Merseyside derby on Sunday, perhaps Milner will reprise his role at full-back again.

And even if the Spaniard is back, Milner’s stats show that he has been so effective that Jurgen Klopp probably can’t afford to leave him out against Everton, even if the former Manchester City player is now considered a central midfielder.

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