Sep 29, 2013 at 4pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
Giaccherini (52')
Giaccherini (59'), Colback (80')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Sturridge (28'), Suarez (36', 87')
Leiva (82')

Match Analysis: Sunderland 1-3 Liverpool

Sports Mole pores over a Liverpool win at Sunderland inspired by Daniel Sturridge and the returning Luis Suarez.

Liverpool moved up to second in the Premier League by taking their chances against a resurgent Sunderland, who were under the temporary charge of Kevin Ball.

The visitors welcomed back Luis Suarez to league action and he chipped in two goals as Brendan Rodgers's side registered a 3-1 victory at the Stadium of Light.

Daniel Sturridge netted the opener and set up both of Suarez's goals, while Emmanuele Giaccherini was the scorer for the hosts.

Here, Sports Mole picks apart a thoroughly entertaining contest in the North-East.

Match statistics:

Shots 23
On target 5
Possession 46%
Corners 10
Fouls 9

Shots 15
On target 6
Possession 54%
Corners 8
Fouls 11

Was the result fair?

Tough to say. When you look at the stats you can certainly make a case that Sunderland deserved at least a draw from the game. If they had defended better and finished more accurately down the other end, then they could have easily won the game.

Sunderland's performance

Unlike previous performances this season, Sunderland fought passionately against a Liverpool side with more quality in all areas of the pitch. 3-1 is certainly a harsh scoreline on the Black Cats who found it hard to beat former keeper Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal. One save, in particular, from the Belgian stood out. Craig Gardner was found with a ball over the top by Lee Cattermole and somehow Mignolet managed to stick out a leg to deny Gardner's volley. Sebastian Larsson also hit the woodwork with a free kick on an afternoon that could have been so different.

Liverpool's performance

Rodgers will be licking his lips at the prospect of a fit and healthy Suarez-Sturridge partnership. The strike duo were the difference today and with the likes of Gerrard, Moses and Coutinho when he returns, there is no reason why Liverpool won't be scoring three in many more matches this season. In Mignolet they also have one of the best keepers in the top flight as well.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Daniel Sturridge: Suarez will write the headlines because of his brace on return to action in the league, but it was Sturridge who shone. Granted, his first goal should have been disallowed but his ability on the ball for the second and the third was excellent. Suarez was there to finish both times but he would have never had such easy chances if it wasn't for the quality of Sturridge, who is now the Premier League's outright top scorer on five goals from six games.

Biggest gaffe

Either piece of defending for Liverpool's first two goals. Never should an attacker be left all alone in front of the goal from a corner and Cuellar's sluggish tracking of Sturridge allowed for the simplest of finishes for Suarez.

Referee performance

Howard Webb for the most part had a gone game. Yes, Sturridge's first goal should not have stood but in all honesty, no-one on the pitch seemed to see that it missed the England striker's head and struck his elbow. Not even the Sunderland players within yards of the Liverpool man appealed.

What next?

Sunderland: It doesn't get any easier for the Black Cats as David Moyes's Manchester United, who will be looking to bounce back from a shock defeat to West Bromwich Albion, visit the Stadium of Light next Saturday evening.

Liverpool: The Reds, meanwhile, will be confident of notching up another win when Crystal Palace visit Anfield in six days' time.

Luis Suarez of Liverpool in action during the Steven Gerrard Testimonial Match between Liverpool and Olympiacos on August 3, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Suarez double sends Liverpool second
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