Rodgers delighted with Sturridge impact

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sang the praises of Daniel Sturridge after his fine goal led them to a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

An excellent Sturridge strike fired Liverpool to victory for the second game running, as they edged Paul Lambert's side in a tight tussle at Villa Park.

The former Chelsea striker showed exceptional skill to dance around Villa defender Antonio Luna and goalkeeper Brad Guzan before netting from an acute angle.

And the England international, who has scored eight goals in his last seven Premier League games, came in for special recognition from his boss afterwards.

"Daniel's a player that I believe will prove, when he is fit and playing, (to) be one of the top strikers in this division," Rodgers said.

"He's got all the attributes, (he is) super quick, wonderful touch, great mover and you see his finish and composure there…he just needed an opportunity. I have seen him from when he was a young player.

"He had a couple of difficult moves but it was just about providing him the opportunity and as I said, he has really grown into the club since he came in in January.

"His goals and game record is terrific so far. He just needs to keep working and keep his focus and he will do very well I'm sure."

It is the first time Liverpool have won their opening two Premier League games since 2008-09, when they finished second.

Both of their victories this season have been by a 1-0 scoreline but Rodgers has no concerns about the side's ability to score goals, and lauded the work of defender Kolo Toure.

Toure, who arrived on a free transfer in the close-season from Manchester City, helped limit the influence of Villa striker Christian Benteke, who entered the match with three goals in his last two games.

"Our record last year and our goals wasn't too bad and I feel that we have got a lot of creativity in the team," he said.

"But you can't always be the Harlem Globetrotters. It's about winning, and for us a 1-0 is as good as a four or 5-0, with all due respect. We had real domination in the first half and sometimes you have got to dig deep.

"I'm very confident that we'll end up with a good goals record but the most important statistic is the win and we won.

"Kolo is a really experienced defender. He's got (a) real winning mentality. He's really clever in his marking, he's not rash.

"He's a top defender and at 32 years of age, he's been brilliant since he has come in to the club.

"Benteke's been brilliant, you (have) seen in the first two games. But I thought as a team today, we nullified the threat with a depth in our defending."


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