James Milner wants Liverpool to keep this ‘run of form going’

The Reds maintained their unbeaten start to the 2021-22 campaign with a hard-fought victory in the Spanish capital over Atletico Madrid.

File photo - James Milner (R) in action for Liverpool; Credit: Twitter@JamesMilner

Liverpool are sitting at the top of Group B after winning all three matches they have played so far in the Champions League. The latest win was a thrilling 3-2 victory at Atletico Madrid. Veteran player James Milner challenged Liverpool to maintain this “run of form going.” The Reds maintained their unbeaten start to the 2021-22 campaign with a hard-fought victory in the Spanish capital. In the action-packed game, they let a two-goal lead slip before Mohamed Salah’s match-winning penalty. The result sees Jurgen Klopp’s boys move five points clear at the summit of Group B after three rounds of fixtures.

Speaking about the tough test in the Spanish capital, Milner told Liverpoolfc.com, “You always will when you come here. Obviously it’s a tough place to come, a well-organised team, difficult to play against, passionate fans, passionate manager. It’s not just the football side of things, obviously it’s the atmosphere and everything that goes with it. So to come here and get three points is a great day’s work.”

Milner on the shift in momentum in the first half

Liverpool let a two-goal lead slip in the first half. Asked about the momentum shift in that first period, Milner replied, “That’s what can happen against good teams at this level in these sort of atmospheres. If you take your foot off the gas or make the odd mistake, you get punished – and that’s what happened. Obviously we were in full control, and we made the odd mistake here and there and they get back in it and it was very hard to get that momentum back.” 

“But fair play to the boys to be able to do that in the second half. It’s not easy then going in at half-time because they feel like they are on the up and obviously we’re disappointed with how the first half went in the end. So, to get that momentum back and get the win was pleasing.”

Milner also spoke about Salah’s winning penalty as he had to hold his composure in that difficult atmosphere to score the crucial late goal. “Yeah, for sure – and that’s why we practise them. We practise that and getting in the right mindset, shutting everything else out. Every penalty you take, it’s always going to be like that, so you’ve got to shut everything out. Obviously there is a lot going on but just focus on what you are going to do, and I’m sure he had good memories of taking a penalty at that end as well, so that probably helped,” he added.

‘Winning the group is our No.1 aim’

Liverpool have done incredibly well despite being placed in a really difficult Champions League group. With three wins from three games, Milner feels that winning the group is their No.1 priority. “Obviously there is work to do, nine points isn’t enough and we need to make sure we do get over there and winning the group is our No.1 aim. But we’re in a great position,” he added. 

“It is a tough group – we know that – and we saw tonight what happens if you don’t continue. We saw what happened in the first half when we conceded two goals and it turns 2-2. Now we’re in a strong position in the group but we need to keep our foot down and keep this run of form going. We’ve got plenty of games coming up thick and fast, so we need to keep performing and putting in the performances.”

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