4 shots, 1 assist, 39 touches - Is Lambert finally proving attacking credentials?

Rickie Lambert

The Liverpool striker played a vital role in the Merseyside club's 2-1 win over QPR.

It's no secret that Liverpool's attacking department has been one that has underwhelmed this season, but with Daniel Sturridge out injured, possibly for the rest of the season, the chances are there for someone to convince Brendan Rodgers they should be given a further opportunity next season.

Mario Balotelli has struggled to provide any spark in recent games, failing to score or assist despite gaining decent minutes over the last three games.

Against QPR on Saturday, it was Rickie Lambert's turn up front, and the England striker did well by setting up Philippe Coutinho's first half opener. It was the first direct contribution to a goal by a Liverpool forward since Sturridge scored in the loss to Manchester United.

  PositionTeamGoal AssistOntarget Scoring AttTotal Att AssistPassing AccuracyDuel WonAerial WonWon ContestTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Rickie Lambert FW Liverpool 1 2 2 59% 2 2 0 39 1 90

Lambert was able to contribute in a way so few Liverpool strikers have managed this season, by providing an assist to his teammates.

The Reds were far from their best against QPR, though the former Southampton striker's two on-target attempts and two assists represent a decent contribution from a centre forward.

His touch count was relatively low, and his passing accuracy was particularly disappointing at 59%, but Lambert proved his aerial capability by winning two duels in the air.

Though Lambert's stats were certainly not exemplary, they were a step up from the performance of Liverpool's striker last week.

  PositionTeamGoal AssistOntarget Scoring AttTotal Att AssistPassing AccuracyDuel WonAerial WonWon ContestTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Mario Balotelli FW Liverpool 0 1 0 67% 3 0 0 22 1 65

Mario Balotelli had a very poor, if shorter game in the loss to Hull City, registering just one meaningful contribution on the Tigers goal midway through the first half. The Italian also played Michael Dawson onside for the winning goal, and had a great deal fewer touches than Lambert managed against QPR.

Of course, neither performance was the attacking influence Liverpool have come to expect from recent forwards, but the fact 33-year-old Lambert, who came into this season having enjoyed a great campaign for Southampton last year, is outshining Balotelli, a man bought to replace Luis Suarez, highlights just how much work Brendan Rodgers must to in the striker department this summer.

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