Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised his side’s attacking flair which saw them demolish Sunderland 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
The Nothern Irishman commended the “excellent” Luis Suarez for his goalscoring effort in his first League game since April 21, after being handed a ten-match ban by the Football Association for biting.
Returning Suarez scored twice to help Liverpool return to the second spot of the Premier League standings.
The in-form Daniel Sturridge opened scoring for the Reds few minutes before the half-hour mark before setting up the 26-year-old Uruguayan.
New signing Emmanuelle Giacherini pulled one back for the hosts before Suarez completed his brace.
“He (Suarez) is getting the rewards for his hard work in the period he was off. He and Daniel Sturridge are great partnership, they complement each other. We’ve changed our system a bit to a 3-4-1-2 and it’s working well,” Rodgers said.
Suarez, who also witnessed last Wednesday’s League Cup loss to Manchester United, immediately formed a lethal partnership with Sturridge in his first League game back from suspension.
The pair established a terrific counter-attack threat on the managerless Sunderland, who had more shots on goal but lacked finishing qualities.
The Black Cats has not had as much effort on goal since they played Blackburn in December 2011 but Liverpool ensured victory by scoring half of their efforts on goal.
“It was always going to be physical and demanding today (Sunday),” Rodgers added. “The work we put in was exceptional and I thought we were very dangerous on the counter-attack. But there are many more improvements to come.”
While the Anfield outfit celebrates their best start to a season since finishing second in 2008/09, Sunderland have only recorded one points in their opening six matches but has shown a good fighting spirit all the while.
That they got off with in the early stages of yesterday, passing and moving the ball with confidence and posing a threat going forward.
Suarez threatened with an early drive before Martin Skrtel’s strike was disallowed for offside after a Steven Gerarrd free-kick was parried.
All Sunderland had to show for their energy in the opening minutes of the game was a Sebastian Larsson set-piece which struck the bar.
Liverpool made their effort count when an unmarked Sturridge scored from close range Gerarrd’s corner-kick to silence the home fans in the 28th minute.
Suarez increased the tally 8 minutes later as Sturridge turned provider, collecting a Gerarrd brilliant cross-field pass with a stunning piece of control he eased past Carlos Cuellar and squared the Uruguayan, who tapped home his sixth goal against Sunderland in as many matches.
Every effort by the hosts to reduce the deficit proved abortive as Craig Gardener’s volley was well saved by Simon Mignolet with Adam John son also firing narrowly wide.
Sunderland’s pressure eventually paid off in the 52nd minute when Giaccherini finished past Mignolet following the former Sunderland keeper’s inability to save a Ki Sung-Yong’s drive.
Sunderland almost levelled when a deflected effort from Gardner was tipped to safety by the Liverpool goalkeeper.
With the hosts pressing for a leveller Jozy Altidore came close to getting one, but Victor Moses, Suarez and Kolo Toure also tried extending the lead for the visitors.
It was Suarez, who eventually sealed victory for the ‘Kops’, leading a counter-attack, he fed Sturridge, who returned the ball to the Uruguayan and he fired into the empty net.