For the second game in a row, Daniel Sturridge has come off the bench for Liverpool and made a huge impact. Last week, it was by setting up Liverpool’s only goal to beat their rivals Everton. On Tuesday, it was by scoring the fourth goal and effectively quashing any hope that Stoke could get anything out of the game.
After trailing in the 12th minute when Jonathan Walters’ header beat Mignolet at his near post, the Reds battled back to lead 2-1 by half time. The second half was all Liverpool, and then added two more goals to their tally, bringing their goal difference up to +24 for the season.
On his team’s performance, Sturridge said, “[We were] very resilient. We never give up, we keep going throughout the game and we know that the hard work is going to pay off at some point. That’s the most important thing for us.
“It’s nice to play and score goals. It’s important that the team keeps going and puts the pressure on.”
Liverpool find themselves trailing the leaders Chelsea by six points at the moment, and if they do manage to bridge that gap before season’s end, then goal difference might play a big factor in their final rankings. Piling on the goals in games like Tuesday’s is crucial if a team has any league title aspirations, the way that Liverpool do.
The Reds’ important New Year’s Eve match against Manchester City looms large, and Sturridge may find himself in the starting line up after two games on the bench.
Regarding his own preparations, Sturridge said, “The most important thing is that I keep my mindset as positive as possible. It’s a team game at the end of the day – everyone is going to be needed in the squad. I’ve not had any issues or problems within the camp.
“I’m enjoying my football and when I get my minutes I focus myself, and if I’m not in the team I stay positive and give my input when I can.”