James Milner will have enjoyed the sweet taste of victory after Liverpool’s latest trophy triumph.
"I’ll maybe have a Coke on the bus – full fat, because Diet Coke is worse for you,” the Kop midfielder joked as he left Wembley with his second FA Cup winners’ medal around his neck. Of course, there was no big celebration for the Reds at the weekend to toast their FA Cup victory against Chelsea.
There’s two more pieces of silverware still up for grabs, that’s why. It feels like Jurgen Klopp’s men might be running on fumes at this stage, though. The caffeine in the soft drink might actually be beneficial to Milner and Co rather than just being a treat for claiming the second part of their quadruple quest.
The Reds travel to Southampton tonight without Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, who suffered injury setbacks in Saturday’s shootout win over the Blues. They won’t be risked with a Champions League final against Real Madrid in less than two weeks. It remains to be seen if they’ll be ready for Sunday’s Premier League finale against Wolves.
Whether that game means anything is dependent on Klopp’s side avoiding defeat at St Mary’s. With fatigue setting in and key players limping out of games now, the fear is that the Reds may run out of steam on their four-trophy charge.
But they always find a way like they did in the 2019 Champions League semi-final against Barcelona without Salah and Roberto Firmino. Much like Milner's celebratory drink, there's a special ingredient in this Liverpool side.
"The group, the manager, the experience of being there before without big players," he said.
"If you go back to Barcelona, that famous night, look at the players who were missing then. That shows a great mentality within the squad, it shows how well we train, how well we’re coached.
"If you miss those players for half a season, it’s going to be tough, but everyone is ready to go even if they haven’t played for a while. Look at last season, just to get into the Champions League, the players who were playing centre half.
"We changed it round and we found a way, and that’s got us to a Champions League final."
HAVE YOUR SAY! Is Diet Coke worse than full fat Coca-Cola? Let us know in the comments section.
When Milner turned down a new contract at Manchester City in 2015 and opted to join Liverpool on a free, many felt his days of winning the biggest trophies may have gone.
Now, at 36, he has added a Champions League crown, Premier League title, League Cup, FA Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup to his collection. It is now a more impressive haul than the two league titles, FA Cup and League Cup he won at City.
"That’s why I came here. That was the hope, part of the drive," he said.
"When I went to City they hadn’t won anything for a long time and it was great to be part of that, the start of their success, winning leagues and cups.
"Liverpool is an incredible club with incredible history, but it hadn’t been as successful [when he joined], hadn’t won the Premier League, which was baffling.
"That was the aim, and if we could do that, win a Premier League here, that would be special. It’s a process, and the process has been incredible.
"You’re very lucky to play in any final, you’re lucky to be a footballer in the first place, and to play in finals and win 10 medals. If you said that at the start of my career, I’d have taken it."
Klopp is set to make a number of changes for tonight’s visit to Southampton as they look to close the gap to leaders City back to one point and Milner is expected to start. Legs are tired but they are just three wins away – and a City slip up against Aston Villa – from immortality.
Milner added: "All the stuff we’ve been through, training, games, recovering, travelling, with three games left, if you’re on one leg it’s worth going through!"
Source: Read Full Article