Liverpool earned a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace but they didn’t have James Milner to thank.
The England midfielder gave the Reds a mountain to climb when, already trailing 1-0, he was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Wilfried Zaha.
It was only the second time in Milner’s career that he has been sent off but that didn’t ward off the critics, who let their feelings towards the 30-year-old known on Twitter.
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Fans clearly couldn’t believe a player as experienced as Milner would put his team in jeopardy by committing a clear foul when already carrying a yellow.
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Much to Milner’s relief, his teammates rallied and picked up three points through goals by Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke.
Joe Ledley had given Palace the lead in the 48th minute but Alan Pardew’s team couldn’t hold on. The Eagles are now 15th in the table having not won in the Premier League since December 19.
Top four race
As for Liverpool, their slim hopes of finishing in the top four are still on. Milner admitted after the midweek win over Manchester City that finishing in one of the four cherished places remains the mission and they are now six points behind fourth-placed City.
At this point of the season, momentum plays a crucial part and Liverpool certainly have it after recording their third successive league win.
Finishing in the top four isn’t a necessity for ensuring a place in next season’s Champions League, though. Jurgen Klopp’s team can qualify via victory in the Europa League, where Liverpool are looking forward to a last 16 clash with Manchester United.