Liverpool vs West Ham player ratings: Did Daniel Sturridge sparkle on Anfield return?

Liverpool 2 West Ham 0

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The Independent Football

The stage was set for Daniel Sturridge's return as he was included in the starting line-up for the first time in five months.

The England striker did not disappoint as he came off the bench to great effect and knocked in an emphatic finish to put the game out of West Ham’s reach.

In truth the game was Liverpool's for the taking all afternoon. West Ham had so little potency going forward, and they could utilise neither the physicality of Andy Carroll or Carlton Cole.

The Hammers need to go back to the drawing board formulating the attack because they looked completely listless at Anfield.

Big Sam will be happy with his side’s defensive efforts in the first half but will be worried by a knock to Jamie Collins who had played well up until his substitution.

Allardyce’s midfield though was woeful, with Alex Song, Stuart Downing and Mark Noble struggling to complete more than a handful of forward passes all game.

Ultimately the pace of the Liverpool counter-attack proved too much for West Ham who had no answer for Raheem Sterling who has played at a blistering pace since his return from his winter break in the Caribbean.

Sterling’s blend of speed and skill combined with some pinpoint passing from Philippe Coutinho proved the difference in the game and Liverpool will be pleased as their recent purple patch continues.

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