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Lallana Opens Up About 'Emotional' Week

On the eve of Liverpool's match against Manchester City, England international Adam Lallana talks about the emotional week the team faced and how important it was for them to pay their respects to the victims of the Paris terror attacks during the friendly against France.

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The events of last week will stay in the hearts and minds of people all over the world for years to come. With the experience of it still fresh, Adam Lallana spoke to the Liverpool Echo about his experience finding out about the attacks after England's loss to Spain.

"We were in the changing room after the Spain match when a few of the lads mentioned it," Lallana recalled. "I got my phone out to read about what had gone on and it was terrible. [Fellow England international and former Liverpool teammate] Rickie [Lambert] was over there. My wife got in contact with his wife to establish that they were okay which was a big relief. I know Martin Kelly was in Paris too. It was just a horrible thing for anybody to get caught up in."

Like many, Lallana had initially thought that England's next match against France at Wembley would have been canceled in light of current events. After some doubts, however, the game went on as planned. Over 70,000 people packed Wembley to witness the match and pay their respects to the people who had lost their lives in the attacks on Paris only days before.

Football at its best can raise above being just a game and unite people of disparate backgrounds. Liverpool fans see this often when opposition supporters come to Anfield with signs honoring the 96 Liverpool fans who were killed at Hillsborough and join the Kop in singing for justice.

Tuesday's game was another such example. It was a somber affair, which began with an impeccable moment of silence and then the whole crowd, English and French alike, singing an emotional rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

"The signing of the French anthem by both sets of fans was a good moment," he said. "Not just for football, but for people across the world to see that we’re all united together. It was important for us all to pay our respects to all those affected by what happened in Paris.

"I was catching up with Morgen Schneiderlin, an old friend of mine, after the France game. You could just see in his eyes and in the eyes of the other French players what a tough moment it was for them."

The international players have since returned to Melwood for training, including German international Emre Can, who was part of the German team that had to evacuate their hotel on Friday afternoon due to a bomb threat and then were playing against France at the Stade de France when the suicide bombers attacked outside. He, along with the other German players, spent the night in their locker room before flying back to their home country the next morning. The following game against Holland, scheduled to take place Tuesday in Hanover, was then called off over further bomb threats.

Despite the harrowing and terrifying week that was experienced by all involved, Lallana feels confident with the security put into place at the Etihad for Saturday's game.

"It must have been a whirlwind week for Emre but he’s okay and it’s nice to have him back," Lallana said. "Football must go on. We trust the authorities to put the necessary things in place. I’m sure security everywhere will be a bit tighter. We’re just concentrated on what we can control."

Things within the team's control include the way that they react to the demoralizing defeat they suffered against Crystal Palace before the international break. A game away to Manchester City is a difficult one to come back to, but they need to prove that they can put aside their disappointment and get a result on Saturday.

While the injury to center back Mamadou Sakho was a blow, the Reds will welcome back Jordon Ibe, James Milner, and Daniel Sturridge to the team. These players may not all feature, but there is confidence in knowing that Klopp has more options available to him.

"It’s always strange when you lose a game and then you go away with your country," he said. "It would have been nice to be together to go through it and see what we could have done better. But we’ve moved on from the Palace game and now we’re all determined to bounce back in what’s a massive game this weekend.

"City have started the season very well and will want to get back to winning ways after the draw with Villa. It’s always an exciting game whenever you play City and we’re looking to go there and put on a good show.

"We’ve had some good results away and winning at Chelsea gave us a lot of belief. Okay, Chelsea have not been great this season but they are still the champions and to go there and win like we did was a big step forward for us. We feel like if we play like we did at Chelsea we can get the result we want. We need to go about our business against City in the same manner."

The show must go on, as they say, and Saturday's match against Manchester City begins the long stretch of continuous games over the winter period that will be crucial to salvaging what has so far been a lackluster season for Liverpool.

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