BIRMINGHAM — Brendan Rodgers labelled Daniel Sturridge as "one of the top strikers in the division" after the England striker fired Liverpool to another three points at Villa Park on Saturday.
Sturridge, 23, who also scored the only goal during Liverpool’s 1-0 victory at home over Stoke last weekend, has helped fill the void left by the suspended Luis Suarez. The England international has picked up where he left off at the end of last season and is repaying the faith put in him by Rodgers after unsuccessful spells at Manchester City and Chelsea.
Rodgers told reporters: “Daniel is a player that has proved that, when fit, he is one of the top strikers in the division. He has all the attributes: super quick, wonderful touch, great movement. He just needed an opportunity. He’s really grown into the club since he’s come in in January and his goal record is terrific so far."
When asked whether the balance of the team looked better without Suarez, Rodgers replied: “For me, it is about the team. Suarez is a world-class striker and he’s proven that in his time at Liverpool. For me, the focus will always be on the team, and that was an outstanding team performance today.”
Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was full of praise for his players, despite the defeat, after completing a difficult set of opening fixtures. The Midlands outfit was handed a daunting start to the season, having already faced Arsenal and Chelsea before taking on Liverpool.
Lambert said: “The second half I thought we were excellent. We’ve played three teams that are expected to be in that top group and we’ve given every one a game. If we play like that for the rest of the season we’ll have a good season.”