Not the best of performances from Liverpool, but they keep their winning streak alive and more importantly remain strong in the title race following a tense 2-1 win over Sunderland, getting two impressive long range goals from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge.
Sunderland defended well in the first half and after a couple of substitutions by Poyet in the second half, introducing both Adam Johnson and Ki Sung-Yueng who also scored the consolation goal for the Black Cats, looked like the better and more dangerous team, troubling Liverpool through their set pieces.
Steven Gerrard scored the opening goal with a powerful free kick while Luis Suarez served as a decoy, putting Liverpool in the lead after 39 minutes. The match seemed over early in the second half after a wonderful swerving finish from Daniel Sturridge, scoring his 20th goal of the season, and he came off in the 77th minute for Raheem Sterling.
There were nice moments of football from Liverpool, moving up to second place, one point behind Chelsea but two matches more than Manchester City (who are three points behind). Philippe Coutinho got some fans on their feet with his technique and dribbling in the second half. Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez had some nice combinations between them, but Liverpool seemed a bit edgy and nervous throughout the match, not accurate enough and players a bit too eager to score on their own instead of thinking about the greater good.
Lee Cattermole and Sturridge both rattled the crossbar in the second half as the match seemed to open up a bit, which mostly benefited Liverpool who found themselves in plenty of chances around Mannone’s goal, but as we mentioned before, were struggling finding the right play, and had a bit of misfortune when it came to referee Kevin Friend, who seemed to be a bit on Sunderland’s side with most of the 50-50 calls.
Sunderland remain beneath the relegation zone, three points behind Crystal Palace and West Brom, but with a match less.