A brace from Luis Suarez saw Liverpool secure a 3-1 victory over Sunderland in their Barclays Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Having only picked up one point from their last two league outings, the Reds were determined to change their fortunes, and started the brighter of the two teams. They found the back of the net early on, but referee Howard Webb correctly ruled Martin Skrtel offside.
Simon Mignolet’s wasn’t called into action by his former side until the 24th minute, when Sebastian Larsson’s free kick rattled his crossbar.
Shortly after though, it was Liverpool who took the lead. Steven Gerrard swung a corner in which Daniel Sturridge managed to tuck away after a deflection off Larsson’s leg.
The Reds had doubled their lead within minutes, this time Sturridge turning provider as he played the ball across the six-yard box for Suarez to tap into the unguarded goal.
Sunderland twice came close to halving the lead in the closing exchanges of the first half – first through Craig Gardner then Adam Johnson – but the Reds held on to keep their clean sheet going into the break.
Sunderland did manage to pull a goal back shortly after the restart however. Mignolet failed to contain Ki Sung-Yueng’s longe-range effort, gifting Emanuele Giaccherini an easy tap-in to bring his side back into contention.
Liverpool pressed forward intent on re-establishing their two-goal lead, with Victor Moses and Kolo Toure both coming close with driven shots from distance. Keiren Westwood in the Sunderland goal was standing firm though.
Just as it appeared the Reds would have to settle for a one-goal victory, Suarez managed to find his second and Liverpool’s third goal of the game. Sturridge was again the provider as he pulled the ball back for Suarez to side-foot home.