Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Sturridge stars in Liverpool win in Sydney

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Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge (R) is congratulated by teammate Harry Wilson after his first goal against Sydney FC during their end-of-season friendly football match at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on May 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN /

Liverpool coasted to a 3-0 win over Australian A-League champions Sydney FC on Wednesday just three days after finishing their English Premier League season.

England striker Daniel Sturridge, fighting back from a hip injury, was outstanding — scoring the opening goal and setting up another for Brazilian Roberto Firmino.

The Reds, playing in front of a red-bedecked near-capacity crowd of 73,000 at Sydney’s Olympic stadium, scored all their goals in an irresistible first half.

Sturridge turned defender Alex Wilkinson to beat goalkeeper Danny Vukovic in just the eighth minute.

Ten minutes later Firmino chipped the ball into the path of Spaniard Alberto Moreno, who hammered home for 2-0.

Fantastic footwork from Sturridge freed space for a cross that ricocheted off Firmino’s thigh and into the net for Liverpool’s third goal in the 39th minute.

“There were great vibes out there from the crowd, everyone enjoyed themselves. We came here to play some football and I hope everyone was happy with the performance,” Sturridge said.

“I’m feeling okay, it’s been a big few days for the team, a lot of travelling as well and I’m working off a few hours sleep right now, but it’s good fun though.”

The Liverpool touring party only arrived in Sydney on the morning of the match and was rapturously received by the pro-Reds Australian crowd.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, 36, played in the first half along with 39-year-old team-mate Jamie Carragher, while Steve McManaman, now 45, made an appearance as a substitute in the second half.

There was a minute’s silence before the kick-off to pay respects to the victims of the terror attack that killed 22 people in Manchester on Monday.

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