Liverpool beat Ajax: James Milner, 34, ran further than any other player

It's amazing to think James Milner will be 35 in January

James Milner is still going strong for Liverpool at the age of 34.

The Englishman is an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad and he was handed a start for the Reds’ Champions League curtain raiser versus Ajax last night.

Milner operated on the left of a midfield three alongside Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones, delivering a typically assured performance to help secure a crucial 1-0 win for Liverpool.

The Englishman worked tirelessly to nullify Ajax’s array of exciting attackers and without him, Klopp’s side would likely not have kept a clean sheet in Amsterdam.

Milner won 16 ground duels, the most of any player on the pitch, made five interceptions – once again, more than any other player – and won 100% of his aerial duels.

Milner in action vs Ajax

But while those stats are eye-catching, they’re nothing compared to the distance covered by the age-defying midfielder in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

After the game, a graphic appeared on social media detailing that Milner had ran 12.63km during his 90 minutes in Amsterdam, 1.3km more than his nearest teammate – which was Wijnaldum.

The guy is not only a beast, he’s a role model for all young footballers. Few players in the professional game work harder to maintain their physical fitness than Milner.

Lest we forget, this was a guy who was playing Premier League football at the age of 16 and it’s only through his lifestyle choices that he’s still operating at such a high level 18 years later.

Following the game, Milner was asked for his opinion on Jones’ performance after the Liverpool youngster was hauled off at half-time and replaced by club captain Jordan Henderson.

“He’s a very good player,” Milner replied. “I’m sure it will be the first [start] of many. He didn’t know he was playing until quite late yesterday.

“He’s a very good player. Thought he did well.

“It was no reflection on him coming off at half-time. I’m sure it will be the first of many, many European nights for him because he’s a top top player.”

A class act on and off the pitch.

News Now - Sport News