James Milner singles out top-class team-mate after Liverpool draw in Newcastle

Liverpool midfielder James Milner applauded goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s influence after the Brazilian made a huge save against Newcastle to deny Ciaran Clark’s header close range.

Jurgen Klopp’s team was frustrated by the result because the match ended goalless and saw them drop points against two of the relegation matches in consecutive matches.

But Milner says the performance has greatly improved with the 1-1 draw at Anfield against West Brom, with Alisson’s late heroic deeds that would have prevented an undeserved defeat.

‘I think it was a big improvement [on West Brom]. “We faced two very stubborn teams, who gave everything to score,” Milner told Liverpool’s official website.

“At least we did better. Unfortunately it was not good enough for the three points, but we have to keep pushing.

‘We created enough opportunities, [were] firmly at the back, any balls that came forward we won.

‘But a mix of good goalkeeper, defense, a little misfortune and maybe not taking our chances well enough was the difference.

‘It’s important that you just keep it going, stay patient and make sure you’re moving forward.

‘It’s easy to get frustrated sometimes and try hard balls or too straight balls on top and it gets cut out.

“We limited them for most of the match, but Ali is of the best quality. Everyone knows that. Especially on a night like tonight, it can be pretty cold for me, I can imagine standing behind without doing too much.

“Then you have to make a saving in the end – it shows how good he is and what a great player he is to us.”

* Who was your Liverpool MOTM against Newcastle? Vote here.

Liverpool are three points clear at the top of the standings as 2020 draws to a close, although Manchester United have a game in hand and will be able to draw even if they win one.

“Right now no one wants to take it by the neck. We dropped points, it looks like everyone dropped points,” Milner added.

“[Manchester] United had a good run and they are probably the only team running together.

‘It’s important that we start now and try to get some three-pointers.

‘But the world is in a very strange place right now and it’s the same in football.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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‘Everyone’s lives are upside down, it’s mentally difficult for everyone and it’s the same in football.

“Hopefully we can get out of this the other way around and it’s the same with football – we just have to keep plugging.

“It’s different, it’s different times and that time where you might need the crowd to give you that lift and get it over the line.”