Liverpool welcomed back English striker Daniel Sturridge after a five month injury lay-off that left the Reds light on firepower up front. Liverpool stormed to a 2-nil victory at Anfield against West Ham as Sturridge scored just 11 minutes after coming off the bench to put the game out of reach for the Hammers.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring after a lovely one-two with Philippe Coutinho.
Liverpool was boosted knowing that they have only lost four games in which Daniel Sturridge has started, emphasing his importance to this Liverpool squad. Liverpool have taken 99 points from the 47 games that Sturridge has appeared in (an average of 2.11 points per game).
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his number 15 after a triumphant return to action on Saturday.
“He is a genuine, top European talent and if you get Daniel Sturridge on the field everyone knows about his pace and that will always frighten teams. He lights up this team. He provides the light for this team. When you add a top-class player like him to it you can go to another level.”
Since signing for the Reds, Daniel Sturridge has scored 33 goals and provided 10 assists in the Premier League, which means that he has contributed directly to a goal every 85 minutes that he has been on the field.
Liverpool vice-captain, Jordan Henderson spoke of the influence of Daniel Sturridge to the squad.
“He has so much talent and can change a game in a few seconds. His movement and his work-rate are excellent and he is only going to get better now. We’ve got a pivotal month ahead and we have to keep this going. If there is a negative recently it’s that we need to be better in front of goal, we need to be more clinical, but we had Raheem and Daniel to come up with the goods against West Ham.”
Liverpool are now within an earshot of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after an impressive run of results that has now left the Reds on top of the Premier League form table. Rodgers has turned the season around switching to a 3-4-3 formation.
Liverpool will now prepare for a trip to the Reebok Stadium to face a resilient Bolton Wanderers in a FA Cup reply on Tuesday before a mouthwatering class against local rivals Everton. The Reds are now five points off third with 15 games left to be played.
[Image via liverpoolecho.co.uk]