This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
If Liverpool win the Premier League title this season, their match against Aston Villa on Saturday could be remembered as a pivotal moment on their way to that eventual success.
With four minutes left on the clock, the Reds were 1-0 down due to Mohamed Trezeguet’s goal for the hosts in the first half. However, Andrew Robertson equalised before Sadio Mane put his head on the line to nod in the winner in the fourth minute of injury time.
Watch the moment Adam Lallana broke United hearts at Old Trafford in the video below…
The victory restores their six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table, with the two facing off next Sunday in a clash that will have huge implications for the title race.
In this match against the Villans, Adam Lallana was deployed by Jurgen Klopp in a defensive midfield position, which was just the second time the former Southampton man has played there throughout his career according to Transfermarkt. However, the 31-year-old excelled against the Midlands outfit.
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A player renowned for his playmaking ability managed five tackles at the weekend, which was better than any of his teammates. He also prevailed in an impressive seven of the nine ground duels he contested as well, with him winning more than any other player on the pitch.
But Lallana, who was signed in 2014 for £25m, was not restricted by his deeper role and continued to contribute going forward. He landed 88% of his attempted passes – only two starters from either side managed more – whilst he also created three chances for his side.
When the 34-time England international left the field after 84 minutes, he should have been happy with his day’s work. In an unfamiliar position, he flourished and showcased his versatility.
Considering the front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are indispensable cogs in the system, Lallana will naturally struggle to play his way into the starting XI but his performance against Villa proved that he may yet have a route in.
Against Dean Smith’s team, we may have seen the birth of a new Lallana.