James Milner applauds the fans after the Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage, London, August 2022.

Watch: James Milner bellows at Van Dijk after Liverpool concede early

James Milner has seen everything during his two-decade-long career in football and didn’t hesitate in giving Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk an earful after falling behind at Manchester United. 

Liverpool entered Monday’s Premier League match looking for their first win of the season following draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace in their opening two fixtures.

But Jurgen Klopp’s side made a slow start to the match with United dominating the early play. It came as no surprise when Jadon Sancho opened the scoring with a composed finish to send the home fans into ecstasy.

Milner had played a central role in Sancho’s goal; it was the 36-year-old who was sat down by a lovely piece of skill from the England international and it was understandable that his ego would have bruised in the process.

As Sancho celebrated, the Sky Sports cameras cut away to a furious Milner bellowing traditional English oaths towards Van Dijk – possibly in an attempt to deflect attention from his culpability in the goal’s concession.

While Van Dijk could be seen telling his team-mate to calm down, Milner was potentially drawing attention towards the Netherlands international’s reluctance to commit towards any of the United attackers in the build-up to the goal.

Either way, it wasn’t Liverpool’s finest hour. While their early season form had been underwhelming, they scored nine times in two matches against United during the 2021-22 campaign and entered Monday’s match as firm favourites.

Milner is more aware than most of Liverpool’s need to continue evolving as a team. Speaking after their 2-2 draw with Fulham, he said: “We will adapt our style of playing but having him [Darwin Nunez] means different players bring different things and that’s important.

“Teams watch us, they know how we want to play, We have to keep adapting, they are going to keep improving so it’s important we keep adapting and getting better also.”

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