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The Blues forward says he is pleased that his family were at the game to watch the goal, and praises manager Andre Villas-Boas for having the faith to start him

Daniel Sturridge has thanked his family after his backheel goal for Chelsea against Sunderland on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, who played alongside Nicolas Anelka and Juan Mata in attack, put in a strong showing away at the Stadium of Light in a 2-1 victory.

The striker told the club’s official website: “My brother, my uncle, my cousin and his wife travelled to the game and for them to travel all this way and show their support was a great moment, as well as the huge support we had from the Chelsea fans."

Sturridge faces strong competition for a place in the Blues’ first team under Andre Villas-Boas, with Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda all out of the starting line-up against Sunderland.

He continued: “The competition for places is very tough in the squad and the manager has shown huge faith in me to put me in the team after a three-game ban, because I have just been training for the last five weeks, including the international period.

“It was a huge result for the boys to come away from Sunderland with the three points. It is a great stadium and their fans sing very loud but our fans were excellent and it was a big result for the team. Now we need to keep winning and put pressure on the Manchester clubs.”

Sturridge went on to describe his well-taken finish, which came after 50 minutes to put the Blues 2-0 ahead.

He said: “It was a great ball from Raul Meireles, great vision from him, and I got across the centre-half and saw the keeper coming out, so I just went for a little cheeky one. The only way I could have scored was to do that, and it paid off.

“I have done it in training a few times but training is completely different to a game and for it to happen in a game is special for me.

“I was hoping that he [Wes Brown] wouldn't get it before it crossed the line but I was thinking, 'Oh God, he has got it,' and it was a huge moment to see it hit the net because I thought he was going to clear it, so I am very happy.”

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