James Milner hailed Philippe Coutinho after the Liverpool playmaker’s sumptuous goal sealed a Europa League quarter-final place ahead of Manchester United.
Liverpool had their 2-0 first-leg lead cut at Old Trafford by Anthony Martial’s penalty after the half-hour but Coutinho capped a solo run with a majestic chip to give Jurgen Klopp’s men a vital away goal on Thursday.
There would be no way back in the closing stages as United fans streamed for the exits and former Manchester City man Milner, who played as an emergency left-back due to Alberto Moreno’s hamstring injury, lavished praise on his Brazilian colleague.
“He’s a brilliant player and he’s only going to get better,” Milner told BT Sport
“He’s still young, he’s got all the tricks and he’s got a great temperament.
“He’s going to be a top, top player. He’s got a great attitude to keep learning.
“You need that little bit of magic sometimes and it was great timing just before half-time.”
Milner felt expected early pressure from United prevented Liverpool from scaling the heights of their brilliant Anfield display from seven days ago but still felt they could have been victorious on the night.
“It was frantic stuff,” he said. “I don’t think we played as well as we did in the first game but we did the job.
“It was never going to be easy coming here. We managed the game pretty well and probably could have got another couple of goals – their goalkeeper made a few good saves.
“They had chances as well but we knew if we got that goal it was going to give us a bit more of a cushion.”
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