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James Milner Covered More Ground Than Anyone Else In Liverpool's Champions League Opener

James Milner Covered More Ground Than Anyone Else In Liverpool's Champions League Opener

James Milner continued to defy his age by being the most hard working player in Liverpool's Champions League opener against Ajax.

With Virgil van Dijk injured for the rest of the season, and Joel Matip missing the game on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp decided to drop Fabinho back into defence.

That left a slot in the midfield open and 34-year-old Milner stepped in, and in typical fashion ran more than anyone else in the game.

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Despite being the oldest player to start the game, the former Manchester City midfielder covered 12.63 km during the game, with Ajax's Ryan Gravenberch, 16 years Milner's junior, second on the list on 11.79 km covered.

The teenager was the youngest player on the pitch but he was still out worked, like everyone else, by the oldest starter.

Milner didn't end the game as the oldest player on the pitch as 37-year-old Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came on to replace Daley Blind late on in the game, as the Dutch side chased the 1-0 deficit.

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Despite coming off at the end himself, replaced by 19-year-old Rhys Williams, Milner racked up some impressive defensive figures during the game, on top of the distance he covered.

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Jurgen Klopp's side opened their latest European campaign with a 1-0 win over Ajax thanks to a Nicola Tagliafico own goal, that no doubt left the full-back red faced.

The six time champions of Europe were indebted to Fabinho, filling in for Van Dijk, with the Brazilian's clearance off the line the highlight of his game.

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The former Monaco player, who has also previously played right back as well as his usual midfield position, was also man of the match.

With Van Dijk out for the rest of the season, and Liverpool having signed Thiago in the summer, it could be that Klopp uses Fabinho at centre back on more occasions.

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Milner will no doubt be ready to play and run a lot if he's called on again.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Twitter

Topics: Liverpool, Football News, James Milner, Premier League, Ajax, Joe Gomez, Champions League, Fabinho, European Football

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Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.