For most of the first half yesterday, Liverpool weren't completely abysmal, which, after watching the second half display, is something of a compliment. They were able to control the tempo going forward and actually looked somewhat dangerous, though as usual the final ball proved elusive. Without a recognized striker in the starting eleven and Raheem Sterling off-form, there was plenty of running, but too often Liverpool's midfield and attacking contingent found themselves without a focal point.
Adam Lallana was as culpable as others in flinging in an aimless cross or two from the wide areas, but as usual, the 27-year-old also sought to get involved with a quick one-two and clever footwork, exchanging short passes to initiate movement and tempo rather than recycling possession around the periphery of the final third. It didn't always come off, and even his goal had a touch of good fortune to it, but that approach to the offensive end is one that Liverpool have struggled to embrace all season long, and it's cost them dearly.
He lacks the pace of the rest in the Liverpool attacking cohort, but speed in attack isn't necessarily about speed alone. It's about staying on the front foot and working to bring others with you, and having the forethought to exploit space either in possession or with distribution as well as the skill to pull it off. Lallana has been far from perfect in that regard this season, but when healthy and given a run of appearances, it's been a clear feature of his game, and one that improves Liverpool.
Video by i7xLFC
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