Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez combined well, says Graeme Souness
Last Updated: January 13, 2013 7:05pm
Sturridge: Impressed on league debut for Liverpool
Liverpool fans can be encouraged by the potential of the partnership between Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, despite the 2-1 defeat to rivals Manchester United, Graeme Souness told Sky Sports.
After a frustrating first half for lone-striker Suarez, Sturridge came on to play alongside the Uruguayan and scored his first Liverpool league goal - and his second in two games for the Reds since his transfer from Chelsea - to spark a determined, but eventually unsuccessful, Liverpool rally.
"Suarez and Sturridge looked like they have the beginnings of a real partnership."
Liverpool were already two down at that stage after Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra had found the net either side of the interval and United held on to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to ten points ahead of Manchester City's trip to Arsenal.
Whilst Reds fans will be disappointed to suffer another 2-1 defeat to United, after losing by the same scoreline at Anfield in September, Souness says they can at least take heart from the promising link up play between top scorer Suarez and new arrival Sturridge.
"In the end United were hanging on and that showed Liverpool's changes at half-time worked for them," said former Liverpool captain Souness.
"All of a sudden Suarez had someone up and around him who he could bounce the ball off and the pair of them looked like they have the beginnings of a real partnership.
"Sturridge looked lively and there's no doubting this boy has got real ability. The question is whether he can couple that ability with a great attitude, which has been the question mark against him all the time."
Liverpool were fortunate to go in at the break just one goal behind after a poor first half performance and they suffered another blow on 54 minutes when Evra met Van Persie's deep free-kick to double United's lead.
Jamie Redknapp was critical of Liverpool's defending for the set piece but pointed out that, technically, the goal should have been ruled out for offside as Evra's header had glanced in off his teammate Nemanja Vidic, who was ahead of play.
"Liverpool were never really organised for the free-kick and Glen Johnson defended awfully at the back post - but it's actually an offside goal," explained Redknapp.
"Johnson gives Evra a yard and that's decisive - inches and yards win football matches. However, Vidic's right leg is offside. You're offside if any part of your body you can score with is offside and his leg is ahead of the ball.
"The linesman is in the wrong position, though; he's two yards behind the play. It would have been difficult to see, but not impossible."
Redknapp was also critical of United keeper David de Gea for parrying Steven Gerrard's long range effort into the path of Sturridge and allowing the England man an easy tap in for Liverpool's goal.
"That was the first save De Gea had to make in the match and he should be pushing it out wide, but he's not concentrating enough," said Redknapp.
"That's the difference between a great goalkeeper and an average goalkeeper: when you haven't done a lot you have to keep your team in the game."