Liverpool came away with a pivotal three points against Arsenal on Saturday evening, pushing them back into the top four and increasing hopes of sustaining Champions League football for next season.
Roberto Firmino put the home side ahead after just nine minutes after Sadio Mane’s perfectly drilled low cross was well put away by the Brazilian. The Senegalese forward then doubled the lead with an emphatic finish before half-time, to cement Liverpool’s superiority over Arsene Wenger’s side.
A second half goal from Danny Welbeck made it a nervy second half for Liverpool supporters, but Jurgen Klopp’s side showed good composure and grit to see out the result.
Many players put in tremendous shifts throughout the ninety minutes, but one man who gained the majority of the plaudits was Adam Lallana. The ex-Southampton midfielder was at the heart of Liverpool’s forward play, adding creativity and verve to the side while leading from the front with his energy and intense pressing style.
The 28-year-old played a crucial part in Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal that sealed the points for the Reds, holding the ball up until his teammates could join the counter attack, before slotting a perfectly timed pass into the feet of Divock Origi who squared to the Dutchman. It was a perfect counter attacking move, and Lallana’s integral role at the heart of it was indicative of just how good he performed against the Gunners.
Here’s some of the reaction to Lallana’s performance against Arsenal.
Outstanding display from Adam Lallana. MOM for me.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) March 4, 2017
Adam Lallana is truly terrific at what he does. His pressing is out of this world – I haven't witnessed work rate like this since Dirk Kuyt.
— Kloppholic (@Kloppholic) March 4, 2017
A word on Adam Lallana. That performance shows why he must be in reckoning for PFA team of the year inclusion.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) March 4, 2017
When Adam Lallana plays like that he's the best central midfielder in the PL. Now to find that consistency. On or off the ball, untouchable.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) March 4, 2017
Lallana has had a serious upturn in form since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, with previous critics positively stunned at his turn around. Now, he is one of the key cogs within Liverpool’s engine room and often a player to ignite the spark.
Having recently signed a new deal with the club, it’s clear Klopp considers Adam Lallana to be a vital member of the team for the foreseeable future and who can blame him when the midfielder turns in the type of display we saw this weekend.
While he has struggled with consistency at times this season to produce at the very top of his game, much of that can be put down to the inconsistencies of the whole team. His quality is there for all to see and the movement and guile he brings on the ball, coupled with his extreme work rate off it, makes him one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League at present.
With Liverpool desperately searching for Champions League football for next season, Adam Lallana will have a huge role to play for the remainder of the season. If he can produce as he did against Arsenal, you wouldn’t bet against Liverpool nipping their rivals and taking fourth spot.