Liverpool’s coordinated approach and pressing game will be vital to to keeping Manchester City at bay in the Champions League, James Milner has said.
Jurgen Klopp’s side take a 3-0 lead to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday for the second leg of their quarterfinal, on the verge of a place in the last four for the first time since 2007.
Klopp’s side have registered back-to-back clean sheets, following up their European win with a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby at Everton on Saturday.
Milner has been a key player in both games, but the 32-year-old stressed that he was just a cog in the whole machine.
“My running numbers are pretty consistent throughout the year, we get them regularly but I think it was slightly higher the other night [against City],” he said.
“That is part of the midfield job and it’s been part of my game being able to cover ground, and it is something that’s needed in this team.
“We are always pressing and you can’t leave your mate to press on his own, you have to press in numbers and if one person doesn’t do their job or get on the front foot and cover the ground and close the gap then the team gets out and you are under pressure.
“Everyone puts a shift in and it’s very easy to see when someone isn’t doing it — and it doesn’t happen very often.”
City’s dramatic defeat in the Manchester derby on Saturday made it the first time a Pep Guardiola side had conceded three goals in successive games in his 514-match managerial career.
Liverpool know an away goal would leave City needing to score five on Tuesday, but Milner said the first priority was to keep their opponents at bay for as long as possible.
“They are a top team, we know that. There are a lot of things which could affect it but we are in a good position,” he said.
“But we know it is not over yet as they are a special team and good going forward, and we have to be ready to defend well and hopefully get a goal.
“We’ve got a 3-0 advantage at half-time so it’s down to us not to sit back and to be on the front foot.”