A pre-season injury delayed the start of his Liverpool career, but since returning in September, Adam Lallana has established himself as one of the club's most important players and gone a long way towards justifying his high pricetag. Despite consistently being amongst the best players on the pitch since he returned to it, though, there was pressure for him to turn strong performances into goals and assists.
"A lot of my feelings were represented in my celebration," he said, reflecting on his cathartic celebration following he first goal in a Liverpool shirt that summed up everything that made him the best attacking midfielder in England last season, his quick feet, tricky movement, and an ability to play with either foot better than just about any other player in the game. "It was a proud moment and also a bit of a relief."
It was nothing less than deserved, and with Liverpool's strikers continuing to struggle to find the back of the net, it was the kind of secondary scoring the club desperately needed to start digging themselves out of the rut they have started the season in. The expected return of Daniel Sturridge following the international break should help with scoring, but Lallana's target is at least ten goals, and he's hoping to see a few others chipping in, too.
"I got nine in the league last season so it would be nice to get to double figures," he said. "We have got to chip in, the likes of my, Philippe, Hendo, and Raheem. We know we've all got to chip in and get goals. If we can do that, we'll find ourselves winning a lot more games, and while it's always nice to get off the mark, it's more important that we got three points and that is a step in the right direction for us."
Liverpool still aren't where they would have hoped to be at the start of October, but three points on the weekend have them on ten and back within touching distance of every side ahead of them bar Chelsea, who have 19 points from the first seven games and are running away with the league early. After a tough start to the season, though, Liverpool remain a work in progress. A starting point rather than a sign that all is again right in Liverpool's world.
"The win is massive for everyone involved in the club," he added. "It's no secret we've had a few tough games, but we dug in like we knew we had to. We got the win in the end which was what it was all about. We knew it was a poor team display at Basel, but the best thing is three days later we had another game. We used that to our advantage and got the three points."