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Sturridge thanks Shawcross for “gift” as Reds star ends Premier League goal drought

Date Posted,December 27, 2016

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge had a message of gratitude for Ryan Shawcross after the Stoke defender’s backpass gifted him his first Premier League goal of the season.

Sturridge came on as a 70th-minute substitute and was on the scoresheet within seconds after Shawcross’s blunder put the England forward through on goal.

Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant was helpless as Sturridge evaded him with a step over before slotting the ball into an empty net to put the icing on Liverpool’s 4-1 win at Anfield.

It was Sturridge’s fifth Liverpool goal of the season but his first in the league since April and after the game he said: “I’ve not had many gifts like that for a while.

“I consider that one a gift from the defender to be fair. It’s important to take the chance but for those ones, the one-on-ones, that’s a striker’s dream.”

Sturridge is yet to complete 90 minutes in the league this season but is eyeing a regular berth in the team after getting himself off the mark against the Potters.

“The most important things is that I keep my mindset as positive as possible,” Sturridge added.

“It’s a team game at the end of the day. Everyone’s going to be needed in the squad.

“I’ve not had any issues or problems within the camp. I’m enjoying my football and when I get my minutes I focus myself.

Daniel Sturridge scores
Sturridge rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring
He hadn’t scored in the Premier League since last season (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
The striker marked the goal with his trademark celebration (Photo: Andrew Powell)

“If I’m not in the team I’ll stay positive and give my input when I can.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson played down the idea that the win over Stoke was made more important by Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United all winning on Boxing Day.

“It doesn’t matter about anybody else, it just matters what we do,” Henderson told Sky Sports. “We’re focused on what we need to do. Every week is a different challenge for us.

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