Kevin Phillips
Football Expert & Columnist

Super Sunday: Kevin Phillips praises Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge: man of the match display

Kevin Phillips believes Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will make a great partnership for Liverpool after the duo combined to overcome Sunderland 3-1.

Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool with a contentious goal after 28 minutes as he appeared to divert the ball past Kieren Westwood with his right upper arm.

The forward then set-up Suarez, who slid in to convert his strike partner's well-timed pass eight minutes later. Emanuele Giaccherini pulled one back for Sunderland early in the second half but they could not force an equaliser and Suarez wrapped up the points two minutes from time. Read the full match report.

"We said if Sunderland we going to get undone it would be those two with their quality and sure enough that was the case."

Kevin Phillips

"They certainly look like they can work together and I thought Sturridge was outstanding today, his work-rate, his touch and his anticipation of everything," Phillips told Sky Sports.

"And Suarez, with another game under his belt, looked sharp and he got his two goals which will do him no end of good.

"They look like a formidable partnership. But you take those two out of the Liverpool team, I think it was a pretty even game today.

"Those were the two we spoke about before the game. We said if Sunderland we going to get undone it would be those two with their quality and sure enough that was the case."

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann agreed that Suarez and Sturridge can be a key partnership for the Reds this season and said manager Brendan Rodgers must put them at the centre of his team.

"It worked for the pair of them today - they are the two main players so you need to find a formation and a way to get the best out of them," he said. "I think it suits them with Suarez coming short and Sturridge likes to run in behind.

"I don't think the way they play gets the best out of Victor Moses but sometimes you have to sacrifice players and they have to play for the team.

"It certainly worked for these two today. I think this will be important for Liverpool if they want to win games, they need to get the best out of Suarez and Sturridge."

On his former team, Phillips added that there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic as the club looks to bounce back from a terrible start to the season and the departure of former manager Paolo Di Canio.

Asked what the positives were for Sunderland, Phillips said: "The reaction, the attitude of the players and certain individual performances - I thought Lee Cattermole today epitomised all the best things about the area, this club, the supporters and he put in a die hard performance."

He added: "Sunderland have got to take a lot of positives from today and they need to work hard, train well and then they have United here next week, which will be tough. But they have a chance."