Seven minutes into Sunday's match against Mansfield Town, Jonjo Shelvey sent Daniel Sturridge clear on goal for the newly signed striker to finish cooly into the bottom of the goal. It was the quickest debut goal for a Liverpool player since at least 1962 when Liverpool returned to the top flight under Bill Shankly. It was the perfect start to Daniel Sturridge's Liverpool career.
The rest of his day didn't quite measure up to those first seven minutes, with at least two more chances to score squandered when Sturridge lingered on the ball and gave the Mansfield 'keeper time to close him down. Still, it was hardly a poor showing for Liverpool's new £12M signing, especially considering Sturridge was returning to action after two months on the sidelines at Chelsea.
"I was quite nervous before the game," admitted Sturridge. "It’s weird because I don’t usually get nervous. People will think ‘what? you were nervous against Mansfield?’ But this is the kind of game where you are kind of expected to score and you have to score.
"I’m delighted with the win. The FA Cup has been kind to me in the last few years and I’m happy to have helped my team-mates win the game. I was quite tired out there as I haven’t been playing or training much over the last few months. But I’m grateful to the boss for giving me nearly 60 minutes."
And it's that lack of match fitness that Sturridge believes played a key role the his indecisiveness and prevented him scoring more. He was also quick to praise Shelvey for the midfielder's role in creating his first goal in a Liverpool shirt.
"I’ve only had three sessions with the lads and then a light session on Saturday before the game," he said. "I'm lacking sharpness in front of goal. I missed a few chances but hopefully once I get my fitness those ones that I missed will go in.
"It was a great pass from Jonjo—the vision and the weight of the pass for the goal was perfect. He made it quite easy for me to take the shot first time. We haven’t had much time to work on stuff but we were both on the same wavelength.
"All the lads have been great with me and they’ve made it easy for me to settle in over the past few days. I want to say thank you to them for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to playing with them for many years to come."