The Liverpool striker's confidence up front made a difference in their win over Burnley.
It's bad enough that Liverpool fans had to deal with the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona this summer, but missing Daniel Sturridge for much of the season due to a run of injuries has threatened to be a much more destructive influence.
For much of the first half of the season, Brendan Rodgers seemed to struggle to find an adequate replacement for either player, arguably the league's two best forwards last year, with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli struggling. However, Sturridge's return to the side has come just as Liverpool were finding some form, and the Reds now look an altogether different, and more confident, beast with the 25-year-old leading the line against Burnley, just his second Premier League start since August.
Liverpool recorded a 2-0 victory over the relegation candidates, with Jordan Henderson scoring and then setting up the striker.
Below we take a statistical look at Sturridge's performance:
|Team||Goals||Total Att Assist||Ontarget Scoring Att||Ground Duels Won||Mins Played|
|Daniel Sturridge||Liverpool||1||1||3 / 5||2||83|
Sturridge scored from one of his five attempts on goal, netting a superb header from Henderson's pinpoint cross. The fact the England striker was on target with three of his five attempts shows just how dangerous an attacker he is. Sturridge also assisted one attempt on goal for the Reds, and took part in some excellent link up play with his teammates.
|Team||Accurate Flick On||Was Fouled||Passing Accuracy||Touches||Mins Played|
The Liverpool striker succeeded in leading the line well for Brendan Rodgers' side, and impressed with his passing accuracy and touches whilst on the pitch. Only four attackers had more touches on the ball from the recent fixtures than Sturridge did with 54, while a passing accuracy of 83% is not to be sniffed at either for a player at that end of the pitch. Only two other forwards were fouled more than Sturridge out of the latest round of games, a collection of statistics emphasising the seamless way in which the former Chelsea man has come back into the Liverpool side after his lengthy absence through injury.
If Sturridge can stay fit for the remainder of the season, there is no reason why Liverpool's charge towards the Champions League places can't go on and on.