A little over 24 hours after Manchester City’s 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool, both sets of players were reunited at James Milner’s charity ball on Sunday night.
Milner, who left the Etihad to sign for Liverpool on a free transfer during the summer, organised the ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ gala event at EventCity in Manchester.
The James Milner Foundation supports a number of charities including Bloodwise, Help for Heroes and the NSPCC.
A host of players from both squads were in attendance with City players Joe Hart, Gael Clichy and Fabian Delph making the trip.
Milner made a winning return to his old ground as Jurgen Klopp’s outfit stormed to an emphatic victory at the Etihad.
City defender Eliaquim Mangala opened the scoring for Liverpool by diverting the ball past Hart into his own net in the seventh minute.
The Reds raced into a three-goal lead as Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino added to their side’s lead.
Sergio Aguero scored a consolation goal on his return from injury but City could not launch successful comeback with Martin Skrtel having the final say with an outstanding half-volley.
Speaking to Sky Sports prior to Sunday night’s event, Milner praised Klopp’s contribution since he replaced Brendan Rodgers in October.
‘Things change quickly and it was disappointing to see the old manager go,’ said the England midfielder.
‘Like I said, that’s football. The new manager has come in and he’s very successful. I played against him in the Champions League with City and they [Borussia Dortmund] were such a difficult team to play against.
‘He’s proved he is a top manager before. He’s an exciting manager and everyone seems to like him and that’s half the battle at times in England – and training is really good.
‘It is different to what I have experienced before. You want to work with the top players and the best managers and I have worked under a lot of good managers in my career and obviously he’s another one. Hopefully I can learn as much as possible from him and keep improving, and as a team we can go far.’
Milner’s Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson was also in attendance on Sunday evening.
The Liverpool midfielder, who is set to resume training this week after recovering from a broken foot, told Sky Sports: ‘Obviously I have been out for a pretty long time. It’s the longest I have been out for so it has been tough but hopefully I am not too far away now.
‘It was a brilliant performance [against Manchester City]. I thought the lads were outstanding and hopefully that can really kick us on for the rest of the season. It sets an example of what we can achieve and how well we can play and just playing with consistency and freedom like we did on Saturday.
‘You have seen the impact he [Klopp] has had since coming to Liverpool and the Premier League as well. He’s obviously been fantastic and you can see that with the games we have watched.
‘Hopefully we can keep learning from him and keep working hard on the training ground and like I said keep putting in performances like we did on Saturday night.’