From Madrid - James Milner has insisted Liverpool's performance in the Champions League final has shown just how far they've come as a team under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid on Saturday night thanks for goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi, but Milner - who came on as a substitute - held his hands up in the mixed zone afterwards and admitted his side didn't play well on the night. The crucial thing for him, however, is that Liverpool have shown they can still win even when they're not at their best.
That was the story in Madrid. Reflecting on perhaps the greatest night of his career, the former England international said: "After last year, and getting 97 points in the league and not getting over the line, great heart from the boys.
"You know we didn't play well but it was all about getting the result. It shows how much we've come on as a team and the experience of getting to those finals [ones they had lost previously under Jurgen Klopp] and those disappointments that we managed to see the job through.
"The first trophy is always the hardest one to win as a group of players and hopefully that'll help us. You can see the improvement over the last few years since the manager's come in, and when we haven't played well this year we've still got the results."
Liverpool always seemed to keep Spurs at arm's length but for a few moments in the second half, and Milner pointed out that while man of the match Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson shone on the pitch, the solidity in defence was down to the team as a whole.
He added: "Ali [Alisson Becker] has been unbelievable, what a signing he's been. Virgil, and obviously the whole back four. I'm sure they'll be the first to say though that they couldn't defend as well as they could without the boys in front as well.
"It's down to the full squad of players but also the manager and the coaching staff as well, in drilling us, defending how we do and it goes back to games when we had players missing - Barcelona, we had two key players missing and still put in that performance and the way we did."
Source : 90min