Yesterday’s come-from-behind victory away to Southampton was incredibly sweet for all sorts of reasons, chief amongst them being the sense of redemption Luka Milivojevic clearly felt when sweeping home the winner from 25 yards out.
— Holmesdale Radio 🎙️ (@HOLRadio) January 2, 2018
The Serbian international admitted to not having slept over the last two nights following his penalty miss against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve but yesterday evening, at a wet and windy St Mary’s, the central midfielder more than made up for it.
Taking the armband from Yohan Cabaye after the Frenchman was substituted at the interval, Luka worked as hard as ever to drag us back into the game, with his glorious long-range winner the least he deserved after 48 hours of personal turmoil. You could see immediately, how devastated he was after missing from the spot against Guardiola’s men, making last night’s strike all the more heartwarming from my perspective.
Allowing Andros Townsend’s pass to roll perfectly into place, the casual manner in which Milivojevic caressed his effort into the side netting of Alex McCarthy’s goal was a joy to watch. It was a goal to be cherished at any point of a game but for it to be the winner in a come-from-behind away victory made it all the more special, as Luka’s eye-bulging celebration demonstrated.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I would happily see Milivojevic given the captain’s armband until further notice. He leads by example each week, always lasts the full 90 minutes and never shirks responsibility when the going gets tough. For me, his response to what was undoubtedly a soul-destroying moment against Manchester City highlights what a big character he is in our squad and with that in mind, I can think of no better player to lead the side out from week to week.