Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at home today by the team that is fast becoming their bogey side Aston Villa. An early goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor in an uninspired game of football saw Liverpool leave empty handed, and questions being asked of the team selection.
Brendan Rodgers went with three newbies up top - Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli. Not one of them had a good game.
Markovic has only just returned to full fitness while Balotelli looked like he was lacking match sharpness - after missing out on international football this week. Then there was Lallana - who has come in for some stick for his performance today.
Signed from Southampton for £25 million this summer the England international is undoubtedly an excellent talent. But he has himself just returned from knee trouble and his lack of match practice showed in a generally below par performance.
He seemed to struggle with the pace of the game and his early booking took away his ability to press close to the man - the risk of a red card loomed.
Lallana is not the fastest of wingers. He relies on his trickery and persistence tog et the job done. But his lack of game time made him more sluggish than ever, so he was certainly not as sharp as Liverpool fans know he can be.
He did have the odd touch here and there which highlighted his quality. But in the end he was subbed off for Raheem Sterling after what was not exactly a dream debut for the midfielder.
In his defence not many Liverpool players shined today, and the majority of Liverpool fans understood his lack of practice was probably the reason behind his below par performance.
But they will not be so forgiven forever, so Lallana will have to soon show what he can do.
Here is some of the best reaction from Twitter to his performance...
Lallana lacks the pace of sterling and should be dropped...the new Joe cole— Tolani (@tola4u_tstylez) September 13, 2014
Lallana looks like an awesome player, just needs more matches #LFC— Liverpool TN (@LFCTN14) September 13, 2014
Lallana stunk the gaff out today, not fully fit yet tho. Hope he gets better.— Antony O'callaghan (@Ant05Ocall) September 13, 2014
Lallana looked like he'd just eaten a roast dinner— Colin Mccombe (@YMccombe) September 13, 2014
Just a very poor game. Off day for everyone. Lallana looked really good. Excited to see more of him.— Aakriti Mehrotra (@Aakriti1) September 13, 2014
Poor debut from Lallana. Sterling on.— Callum (@ScoringMaestro) September 13, 2014
Lallana has quietly done some good things in the circumstances. Tough day to make his debut with the overall display so poor.— Cob (@_Maleven) September 13, 2014
Wont be surprised if Lallana's having a poor game, considering it's his first game with the team— Kai. (@JoeBaellen) September 13, 2014