Milner marks first start with Liverpool winner in Brisbane
17 July 2015, 14:32
Brisbane - England midfielder James Milner scored the winner in his first start for Liverpool as the English Premier League club overcame Brisbane Roar 2-1 on their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia on Friday.
The 29-year-old, who moved to Anfield on a free transfer from Manchester City at the start of the month, found the net 15 minutes from time to cap a fine performance and help his new club come from behind for the win.
Liverpool might have thought themselves at home when the crowd of more than 50,000 at Lang Park gave a stirring pre-match rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" on a chilly evening more typical of Merseyside than tropical Queensland.
Brisbane were not about to play stooges, however, and opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Dimitri Petratos took two touches on the edge of the box before drilling the ball inside the post.
Milner and another new signing, Danny Ings, both had chances to equalise before Adam Lallana got the visitors back on level terms in the 27th minute.
It was Milner's cross which found Lallana on the left side of the box and the midfielder beat his defender with a deft touch of his left foot before curling the ball into the net with his right.
Brisbane, Australia's champions for three of the last five years, kept their shape as Liverpool pressed forward in search of a winner after the break and it required a neat piece of skill from Milner to break the deadlock.
Taking the ball on the edge of the penalty area, he nutmegged one defender before looping his shot over the legs of a couple more to beat the Brisbane goalkeeper.
A victory courtesy of goals from two midfielders is unlikely to dampen the desire of Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to secure the services of an out-and-out striker like reported target Christian Benteke.
The Belgian has two years remaining on his deal at Aston Villa but British media have reported Liverpool, flush with cash after the sale of Raheem Sterling, are negotiating a payout of a 32.5 million pounds ($50.39 million) release clause.
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