Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge scored on his first-team return yesterday…
Daniel Sturridge admitted that it was a “great feeling” to be back playing in a Liverpool shirt, after making a goalscoring return to the side against West Ham United at Anfield on Saturday.
The 25-year-old, who has spent five months sidelined by a succession of injuries, required just 12 minutes to score his second goal of the season, after replacing Lazar Markovic mid-way through the second half.
In a move reminiscent of the Liverpool of last season, midfield maestro Philippe Coutinho picked up possession and sent a world class pass through to Sturridge. The striker took one touch to set himself before dispatching the ball past Adrian in the Hammers goal.
Speaking about the moment, Sturridge told Liverpool’s official website: “It was a great feeling to help my teammates get three points. That’s the most important thing – to just be out there and helping the team win games.
“It was great play by Coutinho. We have a great relationship – he knows my runs and I know the types of passes he likes to play as well. He makes my job easier.
“Once I saw him cut inside, I knew the ball would come and it was just a case of getting it under control and hitting the target.”
“They made it difficult for us at times, but as the game went on we showed our qualities and took our chances,” he added. “We missed a few as well, but we’re improving in each game and long may it continue.
“We’re showing that we’ve got that character and we’re up for the fight. We’ve outplayed some quality teams and been unfortunate not to get the results we’ve deserved. Today we showed another side to our game and that we can fight.
“We got a clean sheet and it was a great performance from Simon [Mignolet] in goal, being commanding on the crosses, because it’s very difficult. They’re very good at set plays, so it was great for Si to show that leadership.
“It was a fantastic all round performance with a clean sheet and two good goals.”
Sturridge’s goal sealed a deserved victory for Brendan Rodgers’ side, one that lifts them above their opponents into seventh place in the Premier League table – four points adrift of the top four.
Raheem Sterling scored the only other goal of the game, as he continued his impressive form as part of Rodgers’ new look 3-4-3 formation, which has been implemented to good affect since mid-December.