Liverpool went (temporarily) ahead of Manchester City to go top of the Premier League this afternoon after a fantastic display in a 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth.
Although Mo Salah will earn most of his praise after his hattrick (and rightly so), one fact that may go slightly under the radar is that James Milner made his 500th Premier League appearance at the Vitality Stadium, with his performance epitomising everything that is so great about the 32-year-old.
Filling in at right-back, Milner proved to be the dependable, solid star that we know him to be, putting in a solid shift in an unfamiliar position and showing exactly why Klopp values him so highly within the squad.
Fans were full of praise for Mr. Versatile on Twitter, in what was a monumental occasion for him:
I love James Milner. One of the most underrated players to ever grace the Premier League. Ask him to play in goal and he’ll happily put on his gloves.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) December 8, 2018
I thought that Milner was terrific at RB today. It's hard to find a better professional in the Premier League at present.
— Matt (@FalseFirmino) December 8, 2018
James Milner has now played games at Left Back, Right Back, Defensive Mid, Centre Mid and Attacing Mid for us. Never complains, just gets on with the job and does his best to help the team. Every team needs a James Milner.
— LFC Stanley House (@LFCStanleyHouse) December 8, 2018
In a week, James Milner will have played midfield, left back and right back.
That’s a serious testament to what a true professional he is and has been throughout his career👏
— Flanallana (@Flanallana) December 8, 2018
Milly slotted in seamlessly this afternoon, offering a constant outlet down the right and showed he can be a dependable figure to fill in for Alexander-Arnold over the festive period in the wake of injuries to Gomez and Clyne.
500 appearances in such a competitive league is testament to Milner’s professionalism and longevity and playing some of the best football of his career in his early 30s, Klopp will feel extremely fortunate to have such a figure around the club.