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."


peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam