Adam Lallana has highlighted a key moment in his performance in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Burnley that proves Jurgen Klopp is relying on Liverpool’s supporters.
The England midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the Reds’ starting lineup at Anfield, with Lallana one of two changes on the afternoon, making his first Premier League start in over a month.
It was a decision widely scrutinised before kickoff, particularly with both Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri left on the substitutes’ bench, but the No. 20 vindicated Klopp’s faith.
While it was not the seminal performance some journalists have made it out to be, Lallana was bright, energetic and kept things moving in the final third with less hesitancy than fans have come to expect from him.
Despite being withdrawn on 76 minutes he made more touches than any player not in Klopp’s back four (78), the joint-most tackles of any Red (four) and played two key passes, fewer than only Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold (all three).
But his most decisive contribution came with a fine example of counter-pressing in the buildup to Mane’s first goal to put Liverpool 2-1 ahead, charging in to block Phil Bardsley’s clearance on the edge of the penalty area.
Speaking to the club’s official website after the game, Lallana highlighted this as an area that Klopp had discussed in preparation as one that “creates an intensity.”
“I just thought the ball was there to be won,” Lallana explained.
“The manager highlighted Milly doing it a couple of weeks ago against Watford I think, and sometimes those moments can just create an intensity and a feeling.
“The fans pick up on it and sometimes it can result in a goal, so happy days.”
This may seem like a rather innocuous post-match soundbite, but with Klopp describing it in his press conference as a “game-changer,” it is clear this was crucial for Liverpool.
And Lallana’s assertion that it can boost the crowd is particularly apt, as the squad are looking to feed off the positivity from the stands as they pursue the Premier League title.
James Milner surging into the Watford penalty area to block Ben Foster’s long pass set the tone for the 5-0 thrashing of Watford in February, with the fans at Anfield audibly lifted.
Both are reminiscent of Andy Robertson‘s incredible, lung-bursting press against Man City last season, with this earning the Scot cult status on Merseyside.
Robertson himself has explained how important the backing of fans is in the Reds’ title chase, telling The Anfield Wrap that “if we can make an atmosphere that will make even a small difference to the lads then it will stand us in a good stead.”
They are small moments, but are definitely significant, and Klopp is certainly aware of how important atmosphere is in these final weeks of the campaign.