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25th Apr 2018

James Milner has broken a Champions League record held by Neymar

A legend of the game, and Neymar

Robert Redmond

A legend of the game, and Neymar.

James Milner not only hounded each an every Roma player that came on his radar at Anfield, he also popped up to support several attacks.

Milner’s energy, harrying, tackling and purpose was a personification of his Liverpool side as they raced into a 5-0 lead over their Champions League semi final opponents after just 70 minutes.

Kevin Strootman, Aleksander Kolarov, Radja Nainggolan, Edin Dzeko… you name the Roma player, they felt Milner’s hot breath on them and took the brunt soon after. The 32-year-old’s ever-ready performance is one of the main reasons Milner will always have fervent backers up in the stands.

His no-nonsense penalties are another, as are his assists.

In teeing up Roberto Firmino’s headed goal from a corner-kick, Milner set a new Champions League assist record for a single season.

Perhaps emphasising the goal-hungry nature of this Liverpool side, Firmino himself moved to seven assists in the competition when he twice teed up Mo Salah for goals in the 5-2 win.

With at [the very] least one game to go, Milner has now overtaken two men that he previously shared the record with – Wayne Rooney and Neymar.


James Milner (Liverpool), 701mins, 2017/18
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), 765mins, 2013/14
 Neymar (Barcelona), 797mins, 2016/17
7= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), 879mins, 207/18
7= Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), 605mins, 2006/07
7= Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain), 793mins, 2012/13
7= Xavi Hernández (Barcelona), 971mins, 2008/09

Despite the two late Roma goals at Anfield, the chances of the Italian club staging the kind of comeback that saw them knock out Barcelona in the second leg of their quarter final seems highly unlikely. Liverpool are now hot favourites to reach the Kiev final, where they will face either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

The recently-crowned German champions welcome Real – looking for their third Champions League crown in a row – to Bavaria on Wednesday night.