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Milner: Sadio is on fire at the moment

Stand-in captain James Milner complemented his teammates on a job well done after Liverpool progressed to the quarter finals of the Champions League by defeating Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening.

While Jordan Henderson started the contest, he departed after just 13 minutes after suffering an ankle injury.

Vice captain Milner took over official leadership duties on the pitch and in his own understated way, the veteran midfielder led from the front.

After a cagey first leg at Anfield,  this contest started in similar fashion.

 

It was the Reds who scored the first goal of the tie in the 26th minute, courtesy of a fine piece of individual play from Sadio Mane.

Joel Matip then gave the home team new belief, when he inadvertently turned home a Serge Gnabry cross into his own net six minutes from the half time interval to make it 1-1.

With the game now on a knife-edge, it was evident that the visitors would have to have their minds well and truly at the job at hand in the second 45 minutes.

 

However, to their great credit, Liverpool did not show any signs of fragility and regained the lead in the 69th minute.

Milner registered his tenth assist in the competition since the start of last season (which is the most of any player in that time), when his pin-point corner met the head of the towering presence of Virgil Van Dijk.

The visitors sensed their younger legs would be a advantage as the contest progressed and this was to be the case.

Mane wrapped up proceedings in style when he was on the end of a fine ball from Mo Salah and the Reds were into the quarter finals yet again.

The Official Site (via BT Sport) reported Milner as being a contented man afterwards.

“I thought it was a good performance away from home in Europe against a good team.

" It’s never easy, they are going to have spells on top. 

"We didn’t play our best but it’s about getting a result. We defended pretty well, didn’t give them too much, and the front three were outstanding again.

While Milner was rather low-key about the level of the performance, in terms of individuals, he was glowing about the form of Mane who scored his tenth goal from as many games.

 

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"Sadio is on fire. 

"The first goal was ridiculous really, how he has finished it off – the calmness and the finish. 

"He is on fire at the moment and hopefully that continues for the rest of the season.”

Milner said the strength of the squad was highlighted yet again by the performance of Fabinho who came on for Henderson and filled his role to perfection.

"It says a lot about the team and the boys on the bench ready to come on, the squad we’ve got.

"Obviously you work leading up to the game on a plan and how you’re going to play. 

"To lose the captain that early was difficult but we dealt with it well, Fab came on and did very well.

"We’ve got quality all through the squad and that’s what you need when you’re playing against these sorts of teams and in this competition.”


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