Rodgers hails Sturridge & Suarez partnership

The Liverpool manager paid tribute to the supreme performance of his strike duo as the pair once again combined to devastating effect at Anfield

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge after the duo put West Brom to the sword on Saturday.

Suarez completed a 55-minute hat-trick by heading home Steven Gerrard’s free-kick following a stunning first-half double and a 4-1 victory was rounded off by England international Sturridge, who brought Anfield to its feet with a sumptuous 25-yard chip.

Rodgers bemoaned the award of a soft penalty to West Brom, converted by substitute James Morrison, which briefly disturbed the home team’s momentum midway through the second half.

However, Sturridge’s wonderful final flourish left the post-match attention squarely on Liverpool’s dynamic attacking duo.

“I think the front two were brilliant,” Rodgers said.

“Suarez’s (first) goal was exceptional. We really exploited the space in front of their centre-halves, it was wonderful invention and creativity to nutmeg Olsson and he took his shot really early.

“The second goal was a good team goal. We moved it well, the cross came in early and he’s guided the header in fantastically well and then obviously his third goal is off a great ball by Steven.

“He could have had  more – he hit the crossbar and had some other opportunities in and around the area.

“It was his first hat-trick here at Anfield and I think you’ve seen his commitment to the team and what we’re trying to do.

“It was a wonderful performance and Daniel Sturridge’s goal … you used to see goals like that here many years ago with top players, quality players scoring those type of goals. Kenny (Dalglish) and what not.

“That type of goal today was incredible. It was a great performance right the way through and it’s very pleasing.”

The result ended a run of three consecutive defeats against West Brom and lifted Liverpool up to second in the Premier League ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday.

Suarez has swiftly returned to peak form following a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but Rodgers feels such a scenario was never in doubt despite the Uruguayan’s open desire to leave Anfield in the close-season.

“I knew, once I’d got the commitment from him in the summer about where he was at and that he wasn’t going to walk out of here so easily,” said Rodgers.

“He’s been great from that. He’s a tireless worker and I knew that if he stayed it was just going to be the case of going out and training and working as he’s always done because he’s that type of character.

“It was a difficult summer for him – it was for everyone – but we managed it as a club and he managed himself well.

“He’s come out the other side and he’s performing as he always does, which is a real highlight.”

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