Opinion

Sturridge Reaches Half-Century of Premier League Goals for Liverpool

A Daniel Sturridge late equalizer against Chelsea on Saturday sent the travelling Kop into raptures and saw him finally reach the tally of 50 Premier League goals for Liverpool. With the instant impact and fantastic record of scoring for the club following his arrival from Chelsea in January 2013, you would have expected him to have hit this achievement a lot sooner than just shy of 6 years at the club, but with a combination of injuries, including a short loan spell at West Brom,  has plagued his time at the club. Despite all of that, he has an almost 1 in 2 strike rate in the league for Liverpool with 50 goals in 103 appearances.

The England striker has looked almost back to his best, from looking sharp in the pre-season fixtures to taking that into the start of a campaign where Liverpool’s squad depth may well be key in the quest for silverware, having already scored 4 goals in all competitions including 2 goals within minutes of stepping off the bench in the league – against West Ham and at the weekend against Chelsea.

Within his 1st season and a half, Sturridge had already accrued 31 Premier League goals, including a fantastic contribution of 21 in his 1st full season at the club as Liverpool mounted a serious title challenge. Since then, his PL strike rate reads 4, 8, 3, 2 and so far for this season 2. His tally for two this season equals his return from last year when he scored in the 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal at Anfield in late August and opened the scoring in the 3-0 victory against Huddersfield Town.

Here’s a summary of his 50 Premier League strikes.

2012/13 – 10 Premier League Goals

Sturridge hit the ground running, netting in an FA Cup tie at Mansfield Town before his league account was opened when he scored against Manchester United as Liverpool suffered a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. The goal came after he replaced Lucas Leiva at half time. He marked his 1st start at Anfield by scoring the 3rd goal in a 5-0 victory over Norwich City. He next found the net against his former team Manchester City, taking aim with his left foot after receiving the ball from Steven Gerrard and smashed it hard into the corner to level the game at 1-1 in a tie that would eventually finish 2-2. Another 5-0 victory for Liverpool in mid-February and another goal for Sturridge as the striker scored a penalty at the Anfield Road end to finalize the score. Steven Gerrard handed him the ball, opting not to take a 2nd spot kick having already scored the opening one.

Sturridge scored the 1st equalizer in a 2-2 draw against another of his former teams once again in April as Chelsea travelled to Anfield, finishing from close range from a good ball from Luis Suarez. He then turned provider in the 97th minute for Luis Suarez to salvage a point for Liverpool. In Liverpool’s final 2 away matches of the season, Daniel Sturridge would contribute 5 of the 9 Liverpool scored. A 6 minute double salvo saw Liverpool leap from a 2-goal lead to a 4-goal one in a rare victory at Newcastle. The final scoreline read 6-0.

The final away match of the season was at Craven Cottage, and despite Dimitar Berbatov opening the scoring for Fulham, Daniel Sturridge did the rest of the talk as he grabbed his 1st hat trick for Liverpool.

2013/14 – 21 Premier League Goals

His 1st full season in the red of Liverpool and the league season began with an air of familiarity as Sturridge 1-0 became the order of the day in league victories over Stoke (a late Mignolet save from a penalty secured victory), Aston Villa and Manchester United. He had also netted twice in an August League Cup clash with Notts County. Jonjo Shelvey was the focal point of attention in a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium as he opened the scoring before assisting Sturridge and Moses for Liverpool, and then new teammate Michu. September finished with another Sturridge goal in a 3-1 win at Sunderland. He netted 3 times in October, scoring in a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace before grabbing an equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle. Gerrard scored his 100th Premier League goal in that game. Then there was that incredible long-range chip against West Bromwich Albion in a 4-1 victory. He scored an equalizer in the 89th minute in a pulsating derby at Goodison Park, his final goal for 2013.

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His 1st strike in 2014 came in a 5-3 victory over Stoke as he controlled the ball like a seal and kept it in, and then smashed it home. He also netted the following week against Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw at Anfield, one I remember mostly for my car tyres completely shredding close to the Rocket pub on the way to the game. Having scored in an FA Cup win at Bournemouth, it was a derby double for Daniel as he scored two against Everton on a wonderful Wednesday night, including a spectacular lob, although it could have been another Liverpool hat trick had he not smashed a penalty high into the Kop end in the 2nd half. Nonetheless, Everton were thrashed 4-0.

He scored the opening goal against West Brom only for a Kolo Toure error allow ex-Everton striker Victor Anichebe to rescue a 1-1 draw. In a blistering 20-minute spell against league leaders Arsenal, Sturridge would make it 4-0 after 20 minutes having been played through by a glorious slide-rule pass from Philippe Coutinho in a game that would end 5-1. Another glorious pass set up his next goal in midweek as Gerrard sent Sturridge through to make it 1-1 in a game that would be settled by the skipper’s coolness of a last minute penalty for a 3-2 victory. Sturridge was then at the double in the league following an FA Cup exit at Arsenal, and both he and Jordan Henderson scored in a 4-3 victory over Swansea. His next goal also came in a goal fest as Liverpool beat Cardiff City 6-3.

Sturridge reached 20 Premier League goals, and ensured he and Luis Suarez became the 1st strike partnership since Ian St John and Roger Hunt in 63/64 to both register 20 league goals in the same season, in a 2-1 win over Sunderland as the pressure and belief began to crank itself up. Sturridge wouldn’t score again until the final match of the season, when he bagged the winner in a 2-1 win against Newcastle United.

2014/15 – 4 Premier League Goals

When the opening day win at Southampton saw Sturridge claim a goal in the 2-1 victory, it was hoped that another 20 goal season was upon Liverpool but as injury troubles started to hit, it wasn’t until the end of January that Sturridge added his 2nd goal, coming off the bench to score in a 2-0 win over West Ham. Another 2-0 victory in early March saw Sturridge score the 2nd once again at Anfield, this time against Burnley. In a game that would be remembered more for the quick red card shown to Steven Gerrard having come on as a substitute, Sturridge got his 4th league goal of the season, again at Anfield, against Manchester United. His sole goal away from Anfield in this campaign was in an FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace.

2015/16 – 8 Premier League Goals

In the best return since his 1st full season at the club, Sturridge scored his final 2 goals under the reign of Brendan Rodgers in a 3-2 victory against Aston Villa. He scored 2 goals in a 6-1 league cup thrashing of Southampton but his 1st league goal under Jurgen Klopp came in a 6-0 victory at Aston Villa, his 3rd of the season and all coming against the West Midlands side as they headed for relegation. A Europa league goal against Manchester United was followed up by a strike against Southampton that put Liverpool into a 2-0 lead; in a game they ended up losing 3-2.

Sturridge had a bit of a purple patch as he scored in 4 consecutive Premier League matches with strikes in victories over Stoke City, Bournemouth and Everton as well as the draw with Newcastle United. He wouldn’t score again in the Premier League but did score in the semi final and final of the Europa League as Liverpool finished runners up to Sevilla.

2016-17 – 3 Premier League Goals

Having registered 4 goals in the League Cup with braces against Burton Albion and Tottenham, it wasn’t until the “Boxing Day” match against Stoke, rearranged for the 27th for TV as Liverpool again came from behind to win 4-1 with Sturridge ending the scoring. The New Year began with a Sturridge goal, 20 minutes into a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light. The 1st Liverpool goalscorer at the London Stadium was Sturridge as the reds ended up winning 4-0.

2017/18 – 2 Premier League Goals

Early August and Daniel scored the 4th goal in the 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal at Anfield in late August. His final league goal of the campaign came as he opened the scoring in the 3-0 victory against Huddersfield Town. He would also be on the scoresheet in a 3-0 Champions League win over Maribor before he left Liverpool for struggling West Bromwich Albion, and many fans thought that it might’ve been the last time we saw Daniel Sturridge as a Liverpool player.

2018/19 – 2 Premier League Goals (so far)

After an impressive showing in pre-season, Sturridge scored within seconds of coming on in the opening-day thrashing of West Ham United, turning home a corner to conclude a 4-0 scoreline. Having already scored against PSG in the Champions League and an acrobatic effort in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea, Sturridge again came off the bench and with approximately his 3rd touch sent a left footed strike into the top corner. He had attempted a similar effort in the midweek cup game and been denied by the woodwork, but it came off this time and Liverpool maintained their unbeaten league start; and Sturridge reached his half century of Premier League goals.

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