James Milner singled out the ‘fantastic’ performance of Nathaniel Phillips after Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League against Real Madrid.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Liverpool needed to score twice and keep Zinedine Zidane’s side at bay to progress to the semi-finals of the competition.
The Reds passed up a number of chances however with Real holding on to set up a semi-final showdown with Chelsea.
While Liverpool lacked a cutting edge up front, Milner was impressed with performances at the back, particularly that of 24-year-old Phillips.
‘It was a good effort tonight, I thought there were sound outstanding performances, I thought Nat Phillips again was absolutely fantastic at the back,’ Milner told BT Sport.
‘It’s disappointing because we did everything that we wanted to do except get the two goals which is obviously the most important thing.’
With their last chance of silverware now gone, Liverpool’s sole focus is now Champions League qualification, with the Reds currently three points off the top four ahead of their meeting with Leeds United on Monday.
‘The most important thing now is we concentrate on our level of performance and if we can perform with that level of intensity and desire and tempo that we played with tonight for those last few league games then hopefully we can get into those top four spots,’ Milner added.
‘That’s the most important thing we can do is replicate this sort of form and those sort of performances.’
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