Sturridge hits 50th goal for Liverpool to snatch Chelsea draw

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The striker’s late equaliser was not only a big finish for the match but also a milestone for his career

Daniel Sturridge’s late equaliser against Chelsea proved not only important for Liverpool, but was also an important milestone in the striker’s career.

Liverpool trailed late on against the Blues 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, with Eden Hazard’s first-half goal the difference after multiple chances were squandered by the Reds.

Chelsea looked set to take home the three points when Sturridge, substituted in just three minutes before, hit a blast from distance that found its way into the top corner, leaving Blues goalkeeper Kepa with no chance.

The goal not only snatched a point for the Reds, but was Sturridge’s 50th in a Liverpool shirt, as he joined an impressive group who have reached the mark in the Premier League with the club.

Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez are the previous Liverpool players to reach 50 goals for the club, making Sturridge the seventh.

"It was a big goal," he told BT Sport. "The boys worked tirelessly all game, we created chances in the first half and we were unlucky not to score.

"I like to think I have [scored better] but probably not. This one was a nice goal but as I said it was just about getting a result. It's good to get the result.

"It's a team game. I just give my best every minute I get. It's important to keep pushing forward, having a positive outlook."

It was a mark that seemed unlikely to be reached at the start of 2018 as Sturridge was sent out on loan to West Brom, with seemingly no way back into Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

But an injury, all too frequent in his career, allowed him just 116 minutes with the Baggies and saw him return to Liverpool with another chance to work his way back into the rotation.

While a spot in the front three seemed unlikely with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane entrenched, Sturridge has again proved himself a capable goalscorer, however limited his minutes on the field may be.

Sturridge only has received two starts this season, in the League Cup and the Champions League, and scored in both.

He also has a pair of goals in substitute appearances, netting with just three minutes on the field against West Ham and in four minutes of time against Chelsea.

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The striker now has 17 career Premier League goals as a substitute, which is good for third-best in the competitions history behind Jermain Defoe’s 24, and Olivier Giroud’s 19 according to Opta.

It also continues an impressive run of form for Sturridge as he has netted in his last three appearances for the Reds.

With the games coming fast, Liverpool travel to face Napoli midweek and then host Manchester City in a top of the table clash next weekend, as long as Sturridge can stay fit, he should see more opportunities to build on his Reds milestone.

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