Stoke City 3 Liverpool 5: Brendan Rodgers hails returning Daniel Sturridge after goalscoring comeback from injury

England striker netted the final goal on his return from nearly seven weeks out

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted to see the strike partnership owner John Henry described as a “dynamic duo” reunited and in full swing.

Daniel Sturridge returned from a seven-week absence to score one and set up the second of Luis Suarez's two goals in a madcap 5-3 win at Stoke - the Reds' first in the league for just over 29 years.

Sturridge and Suarez average a goal every 56 minutes when playing together so it was no wonder Henry tweeted "What a dynamic duo!" following Sturridge's introduction midway through the second half which helped lift Liverpool back into the top four.

"Daniel has pace and power on the counter-attack and both combined very well," Rodgers said.

"Both are outstanding talents - you can see that from their link-up for both Luis' second goal and Dan's movement for Luis to play him in (for the final goal) was exceptional in such a short space.

"Sturridge showed great skill and awareness to get up and have two touches to finish the game (after Jack Butland had brilliantly stopped his initial effort).

"To get the fifth goal here really shows that threat we have."

While victory at the Britannia Stadium was a notable one it was not without its flaws.

Having gone 2-0 up through Ryan Shawcross' own goal and Suarez's 21st of the season, two former Reds Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam levelled things just before half-time.

The pivotal moment came early in the second half when Marc Wilson was judged to have brought down Raheem Sterling allowing Steven Gerrard to restore Liverpool's lead from the spot.

Sturridge's emergence off the bench for his first appearance since November 23 saw him set up Suarez before - after Jon Walters had pulled one back - the Uruguayan repaid the favour with an inch-perfect cross from which the England international scored at the second attempt after a brilliant save from Jack Butland.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes felt referee Anthony Taylor "bought" Sterling's attempt to win the penalty.

"Soft, easy - any adjective you like really. I don't know whether that penalty would've been given at the other end," he said.

"The reaction of the player himself, he immediately looks towards the referee, is a give-away and the fact there are about 3,000 Liverpool fans behind that goal as well reacting to it means unfortunately the referee has bought it and it's a poor decision.

"There was a hint of handball (by Sterling) and he has been given the benefit of the doubt.

"I thought the momentum was with us and almost immediately the game is taken away from us once again."

Rodgers rejected suggestions Sterling had dived and could get himself a reputation.

"I don't think he's in that bracket. He is a fearsome competitor and he is not that type," he added.

"Goodness me he is a young boy who gets kicked left, right and centre and we got good fortune.

"He has had many decisions gone against him in his young career, ones where he has had dead-cert penalties.

"The defender doesn't make contact with the ball but does the man and Raheem is running at such speed.

"I don't think he has gone down easily. Contact was minimal but the pace he is going at puts him over."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map