Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Thursday January 3 2013
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has expressed his delight after Sunderland were ruthlessly dispatched 3-0 last night to give Liverpool's their second win in four days...
Liverpool turned in a second consecutive performance of note on Wednesday by following up Sunday's 3-0 away win over Queens Park Rangers with victory over Sunderland at Anfield by the same scoreline.
The back-to-back league successes, only the second time it has occurred this season, lifts the Reds to eighth in the table and Uruguayan star Luis Suarez was again influential in the outcome.
The striker brilliantly setup Raheem Sterling for a lobbed opener after 19 minutes before going on to score his second brace in succession.
Suarez's first of the evening arrived in the 26th minute when he raced into the box before stabbing the ball past Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mignolet; who was excellent throughout and saved the visitors from a much heavier defeat.
The former Ajax hitman then notched his 15th Premier League goal of the season shortly after the interval following a superb Steven Gerrard through-ball.
Despite the ruthless display, Kop boss Brendan Rodgers was just as pleased with the effort and commitment shown by his players as the hectic festive period comes to an end.
The 39-year-old told his post-match press conference: "You have got to give massive credit to the players. The effort they put into the game tonight, as well as the quality, was phenomenal.
"It was the fourth game [over the Festive period]. You look throughout the country and there are a lot of tired players and performers having had to play four games in such a short period, but you look at the intensity and conditioning of our players tonight and the work they put into the game, married with the quality, was fantastic.
"Credit to Sunderland. They're a good side and have had some good results recently. Under Martin [O'Neill] they're very competitive and tough to beat, but I thought our superiority in the game was good and I'm very, very pleased."
Unsurprisingly Rodgers couldn't help but reserve a large slice of the praise for Suarez who took his overall tally for the campaign to 18 - one more than his entire total for 2011-12.
Speaking specifically on the subject of Liverpool's No.7, Rodgers explained: "I was talking to Harry Redknapp [QPR manager] the morning after the game at the weekend, and we were saying Suarez is a Messi-type character.
"At the beginning of the season when I was giving him a wee breather, he didn't want it. For me, he's a player that has to play two or three times a week to be at the top of his game - one game a week is no good for him. He needs to be playing and you see the response you get from him. His work has never dropped, he's a real team player, he trains every day, he's never in the treatment room and then he goes out and performs.
"I think with the fluidity of the team, as the ball moves he gets the chance to find the spaces. If he's playing in a style that's direct, he doesn't get the chance to move. But in a structure where the ball is moving, his cleverness and intelligence finds the space.
"You can see he is thriving in the team at the moment. He signed a new deal in the summer and it'll be fantastic to see him develop because I still think there's a long way to go in his development."
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Date:Thursday January 3 2013
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