Martin Keown was left awe-struck by the boldness of Daniel Sturridge’s late equaliser for Liverpool in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
The striker was introduced in the second half as Jurgen Klopp’s last roll of the dice after the Reds had struggled to supply the touch of class they required in the final third.
Sturridge repaid his manager’s faith in the 89th minute as he received the ball from Xherdan Shaqiri before unleashing a stunning 25-yard curling effort beyond Kepa and into the far corner.
To transform a seemingly innocuous position and situation into a game-saving strike proved all-too representative of the unpredictability and flair Sturridge has always threatened.
Reds far and wide urging him not to shoot at the time can be swiftly forgiven, purely for the fact that they won’t have been alone in doing so. Nobody in this Liverpool team takes on that shot but Sturridge.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Keown said: “That is absolutely outrageous from there. He looks up almost like Jonny Wilkinson.”
“He’s got the arrogance and audacity to try that, he commits to it, head down, the perfect weight and it’s a wonderful goal.”
Sturridge’s impact off the bench was a welcomed remedy to a frustrating day in front of goal for Liverpool’s familiar front three.
It also marked his latest individual audition for greater first team involvement after scoring a superb acrobatic goal against Chelsea in the League Cup during the week, as well as a header in the recent Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.
His 50th top-flight goal not only maintained Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign, but also saw him become the Reds’ joint-top scorer across all competitions with Sadio Mane.
The moment of individual magic he is capable of conjuring is what has made his injury woes over the years both so frustrating and disappointing. A player of his talent in front of goal should and very easily could have surpassed the 50 mark had it not been for so many cruel setbacks.
He looks in the mood right now, and that spells danger for any opposition defence tasked with stopping him.