86.5% pass success, 3 shots: Liverpool ace justified his return to the XI

Liverpool’s Adam Lallana had an excellent game on Saturday.

Liverpool star Adam Lallana justified his return to the starting XI as he helped the Reds down Crystal Palace 2-1 and book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has struggled for fitness this year and he had before Saturday only managed to complete the 90 minutes in just one match since Boxing Day.

His fitness battle has also hindered his performances of late, but he showed great courage to come off the bench and provide a late assist in the Reds’ 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

There was plenty of talk whether he should get the nod at the weekend, yet Brendan Rodgers’s decision to include him was subsequently justified as the former Saints man was back to his best.

Despite Fraizer Campbell giving Palace a first-half lead, second-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and then Lallana proved enough to put the Reds’ name in the hat for the quarter-finals.

England international striker Sturridge will again grab the plaudits for another well-taken finish, but it was his midfield teammate who was pulling the strings and instigated an impressive comeback.

According to stats provided by renowned statistical website Whoscored.com, Lallana was a menace going forward – taking three shots and creating two chances via key passes.

Aside from his goal, he also contributed well to the Anfield outfit’s rediscovered high-pressing game, harrying defenders and making one tackle, one interception and three clearances.

In possession, he was reliable and on the whole accurate - achieving a formidable 86.5% completion rate - while also providing four crosses and the necessary width to stretch the opposition.

With a Europe League tie against Besiktas just around the corner, it would now be prudent to give Lallana the night off so he can come back fresh for next weekend’s top four clash at Southampton.

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