Read how Luis Suarez returned with a bang for Liverpool as they saw off managerless Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.
By Pascal Lemesre, Football League Editor Filed: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 15:00 UK
Last Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 01:21 UK
Sunderland began life without Paolo Di Canio against Liverpool in this afternoon's second Premier League match.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Kevin Ball to guide the Black Cats to their first league victory of the season and a virtuoso display from Liverpool's strikeforce of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, making his return to league action, proved enough for Liverpool as they ran out 3-1 winners.
Read how it all unfolded at the Stadium of Light in our minute-by-minute updates below.
3.01pmAfternoon folks! The second Premier League match of the day should be a good'un as struggling Sunderland face Liverpool.
3.02pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS!Luis Suarez returns to Premier League action and starts for the visitors. Full lineups to follow.
3.13pmThere's no Fabio Borini at all for Sunderland today as he is ineligible to face his parent club.
3.16pmWhat to make of those lineups then? You have to say that Liverpool are favourites because of their superior quality throughout. Altidore will put himself about but up against three strong centre-backs in Toure, Skrtel and Sakho, he'll certainly have his work cut out.
3.20pmREFEREE WATCH! The man with the whistle today is Howard Webb, who this time last week oversaw City's demolition of United in the Manchester derby.
3.23pmIt's finished over at the Britannia in today's early kickoff, with Norwich earning a 1-0 win over Stoke. Here's our report.
3.25pmThat moves Norwich away from the bottom three and level with Stoke on seven points. The pair sit 14th and 15th respectively. Full table here.
3.29pmThese two clubs have started the season completely differently. Liverpool may have dropped to sixth after yesterday's results but a win by two goals today and they will be up to second. Sunderland are rockbottom on just a single point after five games and already four points adrift of safety.
3.33pmSuarez will be the main focus this afternoon as he makes his return to league action after the ban continued from last season for biting Branislav Ivanovic came to an end. He made his first appearance of the season in Wednesday's defeat to arch rivals Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.
3.36pmSunderland are under the temporary management of Kevin Ball and he's just been asked by Sky Sports News if he thinks that he has a chance of landing the permanent job. He replies: "I just go day-to-day to be honest with you." He also says that the Sunderland players have been "fine" all week and been working "really hard".
3.40pmFor opposing Liverpool, former Black Cat Jordan Henderson has just admitted his appreciation of Ball, who played a big part in his rise to prominence at the Stadium of Light. "I have to try and treat this as another game. But I owe a lot to Kevin Ball so I wish him all the best," says Henderson.
3.43pmLast time these two sides met it was Liverpool who coasted to a 3-0 victory at Anfield in January. In last season's match at the Stadium of Light it was 1-1. In both matches Luis Suarez scored a goal so he's bound to today as well. Right?
3.46pmAnother Liverpool man returning to his former club is Simon Mignolet, who has taken up the Reds' number one position vacated by Pepe Reina and excelled this season.
3.50pmPREDICTION TIME! Just 10 minutes until we begin at the Stadium of Light so I best make my prediction. Although Sunderland may improve now that Di Canio has gone, I still expect Liverpool's quality to shine through and am going to say 2-0 to the visitors.
3.53pmThe situation surrounding Di Canio's departure is certainly an odd one. It was reportedly the players who called for the Italian to get sacked and now that they've got their wish, can they improve their performances?
3.56pmHere come the two sides out of the tunnel. The camera follows Suarez and it wouldn't be that surprising if he wrote tomorrow's back-page headlines.
3.59pmIt's a beautiful day in the North-East and the atmosphere is just as warm as kickoff approaches. Here we go!
1 minKICKOFF! We're underway at the Stadium of Light, with Liverpool in their simply awful third kit of black, purple and white.
2 minSunderland began with some good possession before Suarez achieves his first nutmeg of the day. The Uruguayan surely does more of those than anyone else!
4 minSHOT! It's all Liverpool now and Suarez has just fired his first warning shot of the day by dribbling past a couple of challenges before fizzing wide.
5 minGiaccherini buys a cheap free kick off Enrique and it's a great chance for Sunderland with the ball just outside the area on the right...
6 minDespite the narrow angle, Johnson goes for goal and curls it straight into the wall.
8 minSturridge falls theatrically but was caught by Cattermole so it's a free kick for Liverpool, dead centre on the edge of the D. Gerrard wants it but Suarez also looks interested...
9 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Gerrard blasts it low and Westwood gets a strong hand to it but can only parry to Skrtel, who swats it into the roof of the net. On the far side the linesman's flag is up though and correctly as the centre-back was just ahead of the defence when Gerrard shot.
12 minGood from Sunderland as the ball is worked to the left where Colback's low cross is just poked away from danger by Toure.
15 minSuarez stays down after slipping over and into Johnson. The Uruguayan is holding his upper thigh in pain and also hobbling. Will his return to league action be cut short?
17 minThe number seven is OK to come back on. Might have just been a dead leg that he can run off.
28 minLiverpool take the lead and it's a dodgy goal as Sturridge uses his arm to turn Gerrard's corner into the net. It was accidental as the ball just missed his head but still shouldn't have been allowed.
29 min@OptaJoe on Twitter: "8 - Eight of Liverpool’s last 10 Premier League goals have been scored by Daniel Sturridge. Handy."
30 minLooking at replays of the goal, it looks like even Sunderland players didn't notice that Sturridge used his arm as no-one appealed.
34 minJohnson's deep corner is unconvincingly palmed into the air by Mignolet but Liverpool are able to hack clear.
38 minAnother free kick in a great position for Sunderland as Sakho handles on the edge of the box. Larsson again? Or Gardner?
39 minIt's teed up for Gardner, who for a little man packs a punch. His shot is well struck but doesn't beat Moses running out from the wall.
42 minThat goal for Suarez means that he has now scored six in his last six games against the Black Cats. Sturridge, meanwhile, is now the outright top scorer in the top flight on five goals, with Giroud, Benteke, Y.Toure and Ramsey all on four.
44 minCHANCE! What a chance for Sunderland to get one back before the break. Cattermole plays it over the top for Gardner who has to take it first time. He stabs it low but is denied by a fabulous Mignolet save.
45 minJUST OVER! Another opening for the hosts as Johnson picks up the ball on the edge of the area and curls for the far corner but can only find the top of the net as his shot whizzes just over the bar.
45+1 minLiverpool web editor Jimmy Rice on Twitter: "Mignolet reminds me of Schmeichel - though obviously not as complete yet. But certainly the best shot stopper we've had in my adult life."
4.59pmIs there any way back for Sunderland here? They really haven't been that bad but have to defend better.
5.02pmThere's little on the Sunderland bench to get excited about and it doesn't look like Ball has made any half-time changes.
46 minKICKOFF! We're back underway at the Stadium of Light. No changes from either boss.
48 minSuarez is one of those players that when he gets the ball and is facing goal you just know something is going to happen. He has a pair of early shots but can't work Westwood in the Sunderland goal.
52 minJUST WIDE! Johnson lets fly from range and it flashes just wide of the goal.
52 minGOAL! SUNDERLAND 1-2 LIVERPOOL (GIACCHERINI)
52 minSunderland get the goal they deserve as Ki is given too much room on the edge of the box to shoot. Mignolet can only parry it straight into the path of the onrushing Giaccherini who finishes from six eight yards.
54 minCLOSE! Almost a quickfire double for Sunderland as Gardner pings a shot across a crowded area that Mignolet just about manages to turn around the post.
58 minThe crowd are right back behind the Black Cats now and it certainly looks like they could draw level at any moment.
62 minWHAT A HIT! Altidore lets fly from distance and catches it brilliantly. Unfortunately for him, it's straight at Mignolet who beats it away.
64 minLarsson whips over a free kick from the left that is flicked goalwards but close enough for Mignolet to make yet another save. It's all Sunderland!
66 minSHOT! Moses unleashes a piledriver that takes a slight nick off the Sunderland man blocking and forces a good save from Westwood. Moments later the Nigerian international crosses into a dangerous area and no-one manages to get a touch on it so the ball curls just wide.
71 minCHANCE! Huge chance for Suarez to double his tally and restore the visitors' two-goal lead. Enrique whipped over a deep cross from the left that the Uruguayan could only bundle straight at Westwood.
74 minSUNDERLAND SUB: The first change of the match comes in the 74th minute as Ondrej Celustka comes on for Cattermole.
75 minLIVERPOOL SUB: The Reds also make a change, with Raheem Sterling on for Moses.
76 minThe latest shot count shows that Sunderland have had 20 shots to Liverpool's 12. Neither side has a good on-target ratio with Sunderland on five and Liverpool on four.
78 minSHOT! Toure breaks forward and is given loads of space so decides to go for goal. It's a powerful strike from the Ivorian that Westwood has to tip over.
80 minYELLOW! Colback goes into the book for tripping up Sterling who was in full flight sprinting through the middle.
82 minYELLOW! Lucas also goes into the book and that's his fifth caution of the season already! He'll miss the next game against Crystal Palace.
84 minWill Sunderland be able to make this second-half pressure pay off and grab an equaliser? If they're not clinical down one end then the pace of Liverpool's attack could mean a third for them on the counter.
85 minSUNDERLAND SUB: Another change for the hosts as Charalampos Mavrias comes on for Larsson. Odd decision that as Larsson's precision from set pieces could be vital in the final moments.
89 minGame over. A Sunderland corner is collected by Mignolet and he starts a counter, with Sturridge notching his second assist to go with his goal by crossing to Suarez to sweep home for his second goal. If you've got those two in your fantasy team then you'll be laughing!
90+1 minTHREE minutes of added time at the end of this one with the game now out of sight for Sunderland.
90+1 minGerman journalist Rafael Honigstein on Twitter: "Excellent from Sturridge. Sturridge v1.0 would have taken the shot from a bad angle rather than pick the pass."
5.53pmLiverpool move up to second in the table ahead of Spurs on goals scored, with Arsenal two clear at the top. Click here for the latest table.
5.56pmSunderland remain winless and now have a goal difference of -10. However, the fans watching today would have been really happy with the performance of the home side. The 3-1 scoreline is certainly harsh on Kevin Ball's side.
6pmAnyway, that's all we've got time for here on SM. Thanks for joining us for coverage. I'll leave you with our report and make sure you stick around for reaction and analysis from the Stadium of Light.