Lucas hails Daniel Sturridge's performance against Aston Villa

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Lucas Leiva has hailed Daniel Sturridge after the England international scored his first goal for Liverpool since March.

Sturridge put in a match-winning performance and grabbed a brace to help the Reds beat Aston Villa 3-2 at Anfield on Saturday.

The former Chelsea striker was making just his second appearance in five months after suffering from an ongoing hip problem, which saw him go to America over the summer for rehabilitation therapy.


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And Lucas admits that it came as no surprise that Sturridge was on target twice against Villa despite admitting the forward still is short of fitness.

"We know what Daniel is capable of," the Brazilian told

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"He's still not 100 per cent in terms of fitness and sharpness and I think he coped really well today with 90 minutes.

"His quality is amazing, he can score goals and that's what we were struggling with.

"I think it was very positive to get three goals, of course, we still have to improve in a few areas but working hard and winning games will give you the belief to keep going."

Goals Needed

Heading into the match, Liverpool were in a similar position from last season and had struggled for goals.

The Reds had netted just four goals from their opening six Premier League matches despite Brendan Rodgers spending over £50 million on the likes of Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino during the summer.

Sturridge's return was what a lot of people were waiting on with many believing he would help restore Liverpool's goalscoring ways.

He missed most of the 2014/15 campaign with a series of injuries and was never quite right when he was supposedly fit.

After a summer of hard work in America to get himself back to full fitness, Sturridge, his manager and Liverpool fans will be hoping he can remain fit for the rest of the season.

His overall performance wasn't the most inspiring and he did lack fitness; however, his goals sent a warning out to every defence in the country that he still very much knows how to find the back of the net if given half-a-chance.


Liverpool's victory against Villa was their first in five league matches.

Following a 1-1 against Norwich City last weekend and midweek's dismal display when needing penalties to see off League Two side Carlisle United in the Capital One Cup, there was a significant amount of pressure on Rodgers.

The overall performance against the claret and blues on Saturday was much improved and there was much more purpose from each attack.

However, further improvements are still expected from Liverpool, starting with Thursday's Europa League clash against Swiss outfit FC Sion, and Lucas insists his team can continue their upward spiral.

"We still have a few things to improve but I think the most important thing today was to win and get the three points and hopefully it's going to be the win that will keep us going. We have two massive games ahead of us now.

"People have been criticising us a lot, the results haven't been good," the 28-year-old added.

"But today showed we have a great team spirit and a good group of players that want to fight to the end to get things right.

"It was a good game for us [getting] back to winning ways and hopefully it will keep us going with more confidence."

Can Daniel Sturridge be the catalyst for a change in Liverpool's fortunes? Have your say in the comments section below!

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