Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

30 Sep

Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Luis Suarez returned to Premiership action with a bang as he scored two goals at the Stadium of Light as Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland with Daniel Sturridge netting the other Reds’ goal. Liverpool’s deadly duo impressed as they put the Premiership strugglers to the sword although Sunderland made it tough with Giaccherini scoring early in the second half to cut the deficit to 2-1 before Suarez scored late on to kill off the hosts’ challenge.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers kept faith with the team that narrowly lost to Manchester United in midweek in the Capital One Cup. Glen Johnson and Coutinho were still unavailable through injury but Daniel Agger was named as a substitute after returning from injury. Simon Mignolet returned to Sunderland for the first time since joining Liverpool in the summer and he started alongside Toure, Skrtel, Sakho and Enrique in defence with Moses, Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson in midfield with Suarez and Sturridge in attack.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match confidently and Suarez was involved early on as he skipped through a multiple of challenges before shooting wide. Then a vicious free-kick was parried into the path of Skrtel who fired into the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

 

Sunderland were pressuring and showing great commitment against Liverpool after losing their manager last week but Liverpool’s goal wasn’t threatened until the 24th minute when the hosts rattled Mignolet’s crossbar courtesy of Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick.

 

Liverpool took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Gerrard’s corner kick found Sturridge who diverted the ball into the Sunderland net. Replays showed that the ball struck the arm of Sturridge but the striker didn’t care as he celebrated giving Liverpool the lead.

 

With Liverpool on the ascendancy and the hosts deflated Liverpool added a second goal minutes later when a raking pass from Gerrard found Sturridge down the right flank who skipped past a defender before sliding the ball along the 6 yard box for Suarez to net from close range.

 

Sunderland responded in spirited fashion to this setback and were unlucky not to pull a goal back just before the break. First Gardner’s poked effort was brilliantly saved by the outstretched leg of Mignolet before Adam Johnson’s curling effort narrowly missed the goal frame.

 

Suarez almost made it three after the restart after controlling at the back post but for once his shooting let him down as he skewed his attempt wide.

 

Then Sunderland pulled a goal back when Ki Sung-Yeung drilled a low 30 yard shot on target that Mignolet could only parry and Giaccherini was quickest to react to fire into the net and change the complexion of the game.

 

Sunderland were buoyed by the goal and almost equalised moments later when Gardner’s long range effort was palmed away by Mignolet.

 

Liverpool continued to look dangerous going forward and Moses went close with a deflected shot that glanced over Westwood’s crossbar.

 

Suarez continued to trouble the Sunderland defence but two attempts in quick succession left him with no joy, the first was blocked into his path before he adjusted to shoot just wide.

 

Then a surging run by Toure ended with a 25 yard shot being parried over the crossbar by Westwood.

 

But Liverpool finally calmed the nerves of their supporters with a superb breakaway third goal in the closing minutes when Mignolet found Suarez who then played a delightful pass to Sturridge who surged into the box before finding his strike partner at the back post and Suarez fired past Westwood from close range.

 

The Summary

 

Liverpool bounced back from a difficult week with a convincing win at the Stadium of Light with Sturridge and Suarez looking a formidable striking partnership. Sunderland made it difficult with a spirited performance and Liverpool did leave it late before putting the game to bed in an important win for the Reds. Sakho and Skrtel looked solid in defence and Gerrard orchestrated from midfield highlighted by the superb pass which led to Liverpool’s second goal. Liverpool are now second in the league table and with Crystal Palace at home next weekend hopefully they can keep the good start to the season going.

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