James Milner’s exchange with Jurgen Klopp during Liverpool’s victory over West Ham on January 31, 2021 will always be gold.
Liverpool’s utility man, now 36, started the game for the Reds.
But he was withdrawn in the 57th minute with the deadlock yet to be broken. Curtis Jones replaced the veteran midfielder.
Milner wasn’t exactly ecstatic to be leaving the pitch. Cameras showed a disappointed Milner having words with his manager as he made his way to the bench.
Moments later, Curtis Jones set up Mohamed Salah and the Egyptian winger gave Liverpool the lead.
Milner’s disappointment quickly turned to happiness. The veteran midfielder turned around and hugged Klopp with a beaming smile on his face.
It was a superb moment and you can watch it below…
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) January 4, 2022
You just can’t hate Milner, can you?!
Liverpool went on to win the game 3-1. Klopp spoke to the media after the game where he addressed the exchange with Milner.
“He was not happy,” he told his post-match press conference, per Goal.
“At half-time we changed the formation a little bit, and Milly was a little bit deeper, like a double six with Gini, Thiago slightly higher. Milly’s hamstring had stiffened up slightly, so we told him ‘be controlled, more passing than running’, stuff like this.
“But it was clear we would take him off, we just waited until Curtis was properly warmed up. Then I saw the last long, long sprint Milly had and I thought we’d missed the moment! I was really, really worried.
“He came off and said ‘you tell me I have to play deep and run less, and now you take me off!’ but then he came back [after Salah’s goal] and said ‘yes, good point, good decision!’ All fine.”