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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Sep 29, 2013

Sturridge: Handball was unintentional

Daniel Sturridge bundles home Liverpool's first at Sunderland.
Sturridge converts Liverpool's first.

Daniel Sturridge insisted his handball that helped Liverpool into the lead at Sunderland was unintentional after Brendan Rodgers' side had completed a 3-1 win on Wearside.

Sturridge grabbed his fifth Premier League goal of the campaign as a Steven Gerrard corner diverted in off his arm. The former Chelsea striker then went on to set up two goals for the returning Luis Suarez as Liverpool bounced back after from their home defeat to Southampton last time out.

• Usher: Suarez and Sturridge prove the difference

"It's a great ball from Stevie, it's gone over the defender's head and it was last minute, I've obviously tried to head it but I guess my heading's not good enough," he told Sky Sports. 

"The ball's just gone in off my arm but I wouldn't do that on purpose. Sometimes these things happen."

That controversy aside, Sturridge was in fine form as he laid two goals on a plate for Suarez, who was making his first top-flight start of the season. It meant Liverpool moved second in the table but the England forward was quick to play down any talk that they could emerge as genuine title contenders.

"It's early days -- take every day as it comes. Don't worry about the future, worry about the here and now,'' he said. "I don't think we played as well as we could have in the first half, even though we were 2-0 up, but it was very difficult in the second half.

"We took our foot off the pedal a little bit and once they scored a goal it got a bit more difficult for us, but we held on in the end. We defended well towards the end of the game and then got a late goal, which killed it off."

Sturridge and Suarez linked up well together and the striker believes the Uruguayan's presence can only help Liverpool this season.

"It's great to have him back in -- he gives us options and he's one of the best forwards in the league. We form a good partnership,'' the former Manchester City striker said. "We miss Philippe Coutinho, with his injury; we've got some great players in this team and I'm happy to be playing with them."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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