Jurgen Klopp said that he started James Milner at right-back last night because the former seemed the first-choice given how Liverpool wanted to play.
Trent Alexander-Arnold missed out on the Reds’ Champions League fixture against Genk because he was ill. This prompted Klopp to start Milner on the right flank instead of Joe Gomez which took many by surprise. The former England international has played as a right-back for Liverpool on some occasions but Gomez is just more suitable in that position than him.
Klopp said that Milner was chosen because of how the Reds wanted to play. As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, the 52-year-old said: “I don’t see it as though I picked James over Joe. I only picked Millie. Trent, we found out on Tuesday morning that he had become ill. It wasn’t a lot of time for us and we wanted to change as little as possible.
“In the way we wanted to play, Millie was the clear number one solution for that moment. But after 15 minutes already it was clear that we had to try to change a bit again. Joe did really well when he came on, he looked confident and clear. It was good. It was nothing against Joe (that he wasn’t playing).”
Milner put in a fairly decent performance at right-back last night. He was efficient going forward but seemed a tad shaky defensively. Gomez eventually came on as a substitute for Andy Robertson in the 63rd minute.
Liverpool inched closer to qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League by thrashing Genk 4-1 thanks to a brace from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The Reds next take on Tottenham at Anfield on Sunday.