Veteran Steven Gerrard gave the Reds an early 1-0 lead in the 21st minute, but after that it was the Sturridge show. Following an injury to Romelu Lukaku that took the striker out of the match, Liverpool took advantage with an aggressive attack.
Philippe Coutinho provided an excellent pass to Sturridge, who was able to finish one-on-one against opposing goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 33rd minute. The club's official Twitter account described the play:
It did not take long after that for the forward to double his production. Just two minutes later, Howard came out of the box to stop another breakaway, but Sturridge chipped the ball over the top of him into the net:
GOAL Liverpool 3-0 Everton (35 mins) Daniel Sturridge strikes again, lobbing Tim Howard brilliantly from a long ball #LIVEVE— Premier League (@premierleague) January 28, 2014
This gave Liverpool a 3-0 lead over Everton heading into halftime, giving the squad a chance to gain some separation for the No. 4 spot in the league table.
While this was the first time all year Sturridge had scored twice in a league match, he has been the model of consistency for the Reds, as noted by WhoScored.com:
Daniel Sturridge: Has scored in 12 of his 15 Premier League appearances this season— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 28, 2014
He has done a great job as a secondary scorer alongside Luis Suarez and he makes opponents pay when they do not give him enough attention. In fact, this pairing up front has been dominant in the EPL this season:
Sturridge now has 13 goals in 15 BPL games this season. Together with Suarez, they have as many goals as the entire Everton team (35).— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 28, 2014
The 24-year-old star showcased all of his talents in a short period of time against Everton. He showed great pace to get open twice on a break, he displayed great shot power in his first finish while also providing accuracy on his second.
After intermission, things did not go quite as well as he missed a penalty shot that would have given him a hat trick. He was then noticeably upset when he was substituted out of the match in the 72nd minute with his side up 4-0.
Still, his play on the pitch was incredible and he showed that when given the opportunity, he can score as well as anyone in the league.
Although he is often overshadowed by Suarez putting up big numbers next to him, Sturridge is clearly one of the best young forwards in all of Europe and has the potential to be a superstar within the next few years.
Even if he did not have an elite scorer alongside him, he would find a way to get on to the scoresheet consistently.
Until then, he will continue to be half of one of the best scoring tandems in the world while helping Liverpool contend for trophies.
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