Liverpool produced a scintillating display to beat Swansea City 4-1 on Monday evening, ending 2014 on a high.
Alberto Moreno gave the home side the lead in the first half, before Adam Lallana scored either side of Gylfi Sigurdsson's strike after the break. Ex-Red Jonjo Shelvey then headed into his own net, ensuring that Liverpool ended the calendar year with three points.
Lallana was the standout performer at Anfield, living up to his £25 million price tag with an outstanding display. After a somewhat quiet first half, he perked up in the second, as he established himself at the centre of Liverpool's attacking success.
He completed 83% of his passes but only five of them were in his own half. Indeed, the majority of his attempts to find a teammate came in the opposition half, with 12 coming in the final third. Despite Lallana's best efforts, he crafted just a single key pass.
Rather, as the final score-sheet suggests, his most impressive contribution came in front of goal. Having managed four attempts throughout his 90-minute outing, three of which were accurate, he bagged his first ever Premier League brace.
|Team||Season||Goals||Shots||Shot Accuracy (%)||Key Passes||Dribbles||Pass Accuracy (%)||Tackles||Touches||Mins Played|
Lallana's first goal may have been a fluke, although he should get credit for pressing Lukasz Fabianski admirably, but he took his second brilliantly. Drilling home from 12 yards after a superb assist from Philippe Coutinho, he gave his side some respite in the second half. This was a top-class finish, worthy of his meaty summer transfer fee.
An intelligent player, who is never far from the action, Lallana does exceptionally well to find space in threatening areas; as was the case against the visiting Swans. The former Southampton man completed each of his three attempted take ons, as he crafted opportunities for Liverpool from the right-flank.
While he lacked a finishing touch throughout his early days at Anfield, Lallana was lauded for his inspiring work-rate in the centre of the park. This side to his game was on full display yesterday evening, as he assisted his side by making five tackles.
Along with Coutinho, Lallana was the best player on the park. The England international looked like a player capable of commanding a £25 million transfer fee. He has been an undoubted success story at Liverpool so far and the Anfield faithful will be delighted.