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The Liverpool striker was stuck on repeat for the first half, trying the same trick on several occasions, but looked much brighter after the break when Rickie Lambert went off

Daniel Sturridge stepped up his pre-season preparations with a full 90 minutes against his former club Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.

After a first half which seemed to be stuck on repeat, he came into his own after the break in the absence of Rickie Lambert although he did find time to blaze a penalty well over the crossbar.

Below, Goal charts the England striker's evening from start to finish as well as what the season may hold...


It was a difficult opening 45 minutes for the England man, who will be relied upon to score more than his share of goals this season following the departure of Luis Suarez.

Sturridge did look bright when on the ball, looking to run at the City defence before playing a clever pass to a team-mate. In fact, his first three opportunities, including after 30 seconds, saw him dribble at the defence before finding a team-mate with the outside of his foot.

He was caught offside three times in 11 first-half minutes, twice from Lambert's lofted balls over the top and one from a more direct Steven Gerrard ball from his own half.

Sandwiched between the first two offsides he found himself in possession in the area, but after engineering some space for himself with some neat footwork his shot was blocked.

After the break he went back to his earlier formula of running at his man and sliding in a pass with the outside of his foot. This time it found substitute Jack Robinson, whose low shot was snuffed out very well by Joe Hart.

After glancing a header over the crossbar from a corner, he played a part in Liverpool's equaliser, though not quite exactly how he would've hoped. The England man was well tackled in the area by Aleksandar Kolarov, but the ball fell straight to Henderson to curl home.

He had his say in his side's second, too. With the ball down on the left, he worked some space for himself and stood the ball up to Lucas on the edge of the area. The Brazilian laid the ball into Sterling's path and the winger produced a fine finish.

Sturridge was not done, though, and tried to win it in the 91st minute with his trademark; after taking the ball down on his chest on the right-hand side of the box, he moved the ball onto his left and shaped to curl into the far top corner, only to see his effort blocked.

In the penalty shoot-out, Sturridge stepped up after Kolarov had blasted his effort over the bar, only to do exactly the same thing although, on the whole, it was a positive night for the striker.


After drifting between clubs, from Manchester City to Chelsea with Bolton thrown in for good measure, Sturridge finally seemed to find himself at home last season, when he hit 21 Premier League goals as Liverpool fell just short of winning the title.

But with Suarez gone, the goalposts have moved and Sturridge will certainly be expected to carry the can for the Reds next season. A confident striker, he will feel capable of filling the void left by the Uruguayan, but at the moment Liverpool's chances are certainly in the balance.

Despite playing arguably the best football last season, the Reds appear to be the weakest of the top four heading into the new campaign. Comparisons with Tottenham have followed Suarez's sale, 12 months after Spurs reinvested their Gareth Bale windfall, but Brendan Rodgers is well aware of how he wants his side to play and which players he needs to achieve it.

As such, they should be a solid, attacking outfit even without Suarez, and Sturridge will be integral to their hopes in Europe and at home.

He showed in New York that he could well be more comfortable with Raheem Sterling on the left rather than with Rickie Lambert alongside him up front, which will give Rodgers plenty to think about as he works out his plans for the new season.


Seeing as he scored 21 last season, and that the Reds will have to somehow compensate not just for Suarez's 31 strikes but also his virtuosity, Sturridge will likely have to top that tally this time around if Liverpool can keep their grip on a Champions League place.

The England striker laid on seven goals for team-mates last season and a similar return would sound about right. And on this evidence he looks like he will continue to pick out his team-mates in and around the area - particularly with the outside of his boot.

But given that he will be the central striker responsible for finishing off sweeping moves, a bit more of a selfish season could be forgiven.

Liverpool certainly still look capable of the blistering football they produced last season, and Sturridge will be integral to that.

Of course, whether the squad as a whole is strong enough to cope with the added rigours of European football remains to be seen, so expectations may have to be scaled back pretty quickly.