This Counter-Move On Erling Haaland Shows How James Milner Puts It All On The Line For Liverpool

Match-week 10 of the Premier League led to another forgettable trip to Anfield for Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

In a game many expected the visitors to win, Liverpool pulled off a surprise victory, on the back of a solitary goal by Mo Salah.

End to end, as usual, the game provided for an intriguing tactical and physical battle.

Both teams lined up in shapes they aren’t entirely accustomed to, with Pep opting for 3-4-3 during the build-up, while Jurgen Klopp continued his ongoing experiment with a 4-4-2.

In the end, the tactical battle went the German’s way, as Pep fell to a bit of overthinking once again.

Moving onto the physical front, both teams looked up for a tussle, as plenty of hefty challenges were delivered all over the pitch.

For the Liverpool defence, being scrappy was almost compulsory, as the backline had to contend with the force known as Erling Haaland.

The 6’4 Norwegian has been on an insane goal-scoring run, with his speed and strength proving too much for a number of Premier League defences.

Keeping the 22-year-old at bay was always going to be a difficult task, but the Reds managed to do exactly that.

The centre-back pairing of Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk locked up Haaland all game and even offered the necessary physicality when required.

No matter the opposition, Haaland in his current form will always attract special attention, something which veteran James Milner reminded him of as soon as the first whistle rang.

The 36-year-old was a surprise inclusion in the starting XI and ended up delivering solid performance at right-back.

Always energetic, the vastly-experienced player is known for being pretty rugged in defence.

And he made sure to inform Haaland that he was in a scrappy night before even touching the ball.

Spotted on Inside Anfield, right as Liverpool kicked things off in the second half, Milner stationed himself near the centre circle with the sole aim of catching Haaland.

Like a blocker setting his sights on an onrushing running back, Milner awaits contact from Haaland, before getting on with the game.

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Although the Norwegian managed to ram his way through Milner, it would have certainly reminded him that there’s plenty more where that came from.

Say what you will about Milner’s ability on the ball, but you can’t deny that the ‘dawg’ in him is still alive and hungry.

And in football, that often counts for a lot.