Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge capped his return to the starting eleven with two goals in a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton on Wednesday night. The England international bagged a brace as the Reds booked their place in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup and reminded his critics exactly why he’s worth sticking by despite recent injury woes.
Sturridge has hardly kicked a ball this season due to persistent muscle injuries keeping him sidelined, but he was given advice by new manager Jurgen Klopp who suggested the striker would need to play through the pain barrier to avoid any more layouts. After being made available for Wednesday’s clash, Sturridge certainly proved his worth to Klopp.
Sturridge reminded everyone what he can do
For his first goal, the former Manchester City and Chelsea striker picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the area, side-stepping a pursuing defender before rifling a low effort into the bottom corner from a difficult angle. His second goal saw him coolly convert a brilliant ball over the defence from Emre Can, slotting his effort past the Southampton goalkeeper.
Sturridge was withdraw in the second half largely due to fatigue as well as the score being wrapped up, and he was given a great ovation from the travelling supporters. After the game, Klopp revealed his admiration for the striker, adding that he now understands why so many regard Sturridge in such a high regard, and supporters will be re-joining him.
Now outscoring Rooney domestically
It’s been a long time since Daniel Sturridge has enjoyed a long run of games in the Premier League, and many are forgetting exactly why Liverpool have been so desperate to have him back fit. Summer-signing Christian Benteke has been full of goals in his absence, scoring some brilliant individual efforts, but Sturridge can showcase moments of magic on a weekly basis.
The 26-year-old now has four goals in five appearances in all competitions, surpassing Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney for domestic goals despite having played around 350 minutes in total this season. It’s vital Liverpool can take care of the striker now to ensure he doesn’t suffer any setbacks in his recovery, but it’s likely Klopp could rest him ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.
After Klopp gave Sturridge the platform to prove his worth to Liverpool, it’s now up to the English striker to return the favour and work even harder to keep himself in perfect condition to lead the line for the Reds for the rest of the season.