Monday, 24 February 2014

Red-hot Sturridge keeps Liverpool in touch at top

Red-hot Sturridge keeps Liverpool in touch at top

Last Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014, 22:27
Red-hot Sturridge keeps Liverpool in touch at top
London: Daniel Sturridge struck twice to keep Liverpool`s Premier League title hopes alive with a thrilling 4-3 win over Swansea City on Sunday.

The win lifted Liverpool back to within four points of leaders Chelsea while Newcastle United ended a three match-losing streak when Loic Remy scored a stoppage-time winner to seal a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

Sturridge became only the second player to score in eight successive Premier League matches when he grabbed a third-minute opener and Jordan Henderson put Liverpool in control before Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony drew Swansea level.

Sturridge, who matched former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy`s feat, was on target again before the break, only for Bony to equalise once more from the penalty spot.

Henderson clinched the points for the hosts 16 minutes from time at Anfield, keeping them fourth with 56 points from 27 matches.

Arsenal are second, one point behind Chelsea, with Manchester City a further two points back in third.

"A wonderful victory for us, Swansea played really well, especially when were 2-0 up to come back into the game," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports.

"An outstanding result for us and again typified the character of this team."

It took only three minutes for Liverpool to open their account at Anfield, Raheem Sterling taking advantage of an Angel Rangel error to send an inch-perfect pass to Sturridge and the forward skipped past keeper Michel Vorm to score.

After a period of Swansea dominance Liverpool doubled their advantage through Henderson, who curled a delightful shot into the top corner.


Liverpool may have been expected to push on against their lower-ranked opponents but Swansea are tougher under new manager Garry Monk and they hit back through Jonjo Shelvey, who scored against his former club with a well-taken goal from the edge of the box.

They were level after 27 minutes when Ivorian Bony glanced home a free kick, via Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, before the hosts regained the lead with Sturridge`s 18th goal of the season having been set up by Uruguayan Luis Suarez.

Swansea were level soon after the restart, Bony grabbing his second from the penalty spot after being pushed by Skrtel.

Suarez, who has not scored in his past four league matches, was unable to find the target after a sublime ball from captain Steven Gerrard, but Henderson scored at the second attempt, keeping his side on course for a first Champions League appearance since the 2009-2010 season.

Newcastle, who had lost their past three matches and not scored in four, appeared to be on their way to another disappointing result before Remy, returning after a three-match suspension, struck with moments remaining at St James`s Park.

Having hit the base of the post after 88 minutes, the on-loan Frenchman made no mistake when the ball fell to him in the middle of the box, giving Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan no chance with Newcastle`s first home goal since late December.

"It was beginning to hang around us that lack of a goal," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.

"Our commitment and work-rate are what probably saw us over the line."

The win lifted Newcastle to eighth with 40 points, one ahead of Southampton.

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Norwich City in the late game.
Reuters --------------------

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