Adam Lallana made his first Champions League appearance of the season for Liverpool on Tuesday night, and fans were not pleased with his performance.
The Merseyside club produced a lacklustre display in a 0-0 draw that saw them progress to the quarter-finals of Europe's most prestigious competition. Jurgen Klopp made a number of changes to his Liverpool side and Lallana failed to stand out in what was only his third start of the season in all competitions.
The midfielder has been struggling with a long-term thigh injury and his lack of match fitness was fairly obviously.
He failed to create a single chance in the 90 minutes he played on Tuesday night - whereas Mohamed Salah, who was subbed on with just 15 minutes to go, created two. It may seem unfair to expect too much from someone who has been out injured for so long, but fans on social media were quick to criticise.
Thought the game passed Lallana by unfortunately. Didn't take his chance.— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) March 6, 2018
Milner has been very good recently. Think he's been better than Lallana has ever been for Liverpool. Long may it continue.— Rowly (@ThisIsRowly) March 7, 2018
Lallana did show some good touches through the game but his lack of sharpness was clear to see. He will be keen to get more minutes under his belt before the end of the season in an attempt to force himself into the England squad for the World Cup.
England do not have a wealth of options in central midfield and when fit, many would argue Lallana deserves a place. Some Liverpool fans defended him, stating that criticism of the 29-year-old is unnecessary when he has barely played this season.
Adam Lallana's 3rd start of the season and his first for 2 months. Clearly lacking match sharpness after missing so much training and football. Tonight, an exercise in working him back to fitness in an easy environment. Why would anyone be critical of that. Strange— John Bradley (@jbradleymedia) March 6, 2018
Lallana is unlikely to retain his place in the starting line-up for Saturdays early kick-off against fierce rivals Manchester United, but will be hoping to get his chance as fixtures pile up towards the end of the season.