LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 14, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

James Milner hails Liverpool’s “heart and desire” after fightback win at Anfield

James Milner believes Liverpool answered their critics with a battling 2-1 win over Bournemouth, after relinquishing their unbeaten record in the Premier League.

The Reds were denied the chance to surpass Arsenal with the longest unbeaten run in English top-flight history when they lost 3-0 at Watford last weekend.

And after exiting the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea in midweek, the onus was on Jurgen Klopp‘s side to produce a response and get their title charge back on track.

After an early scare through Callum Wilson’s controversial strike, Liverpool fought their way back into the game, with Milner named Man of the Match in a game decided by goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

“I don’t think any Premier League game is easy to win. It’s boring to say, but it’s true,” the vice-captain, wearing the armband on Saturday, told BT Sport.

“Especially after a couple of performances not on our level, many teams would have crumbled.

“A couple of poor results, people saying this and that, but we kept going and stayed calm.”

Characteristic of Milner’s never-say-die performance was a brilliant goal-line clearance to keep Ryan Fraser out at 2-1, but when questioned on his contribution the 34-year-old turned the focus back on his team-mates’ “heart and desire.”

“It was probably my fault in the first place! I managed to get there in the end,” he continued.

“There were a couple of chances we don’t want to give, but you can’t question the boys’ heart and desire.

“You don’t always play well, but on numerous occasions this season we’ve found a way to win.”

Liverpool overtook Bill Shankly‘s side of 1972 in recording the best-ever winning run at home in the history of the top flight, but Milner was not distracted by a 22nd successive victory at Anfield.

“It’s an amazing place to play football, it lifted us today,” he said.

“The unbelievable teams that have been here over the years, to be up there with those is special.

“But we want to just keep producing performances, hopefully winning trophies.”

Salah and Mane celebrate. (Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images)

Salah joined Milner on the pitch and awarded the veteran with the Man of the Match trophy, and paid tribute to his team-mate as well as repeating the message that Liverpool must “keep going.”

“I think he’s experienced enough, he’s played 500 or 700 games! He’s always pushing us on the field and off it, I’m happy to play with him,” he said.

“We need to keep going for the next three games, and the rest of the season.”