The Reds headed into this contest with much to prove following disappointing results against the likes of West Ham United and Manchester United (both defeats), and Norwich City (a 1-1 draw at Anfield last weekend).
Welcoming strugglers Villa to Merseyside on Saturday, it was imperative that the Reds returned to winning ways, not least to calm to increasing pressure surrounding coach Brendan Rodgers. The Northern Irish manager has come under increasing scrutiny since Liverpool only just scraped past League Two Carlisle United in the League Cup, and the likes of Water Mazzarri, Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp have been tipped to replace him.
However, disaster struck for Rodgers last weekend when his big-money summer signing Christian Benteke was ruled out for several weeks with injury.
In his stead, Daniel Sturridge started up front alongside Danny Ings against Tim Sherwood’s Villa. It was perhaps not an immediate choice for Rodgers, with Sturridge only recently coming back from a long-term injury, and having failed to find the net in the EPL for the best part of a year.
Daniel Sturridge scores his first Premier League goal in 266 days (1-2 defeat vs. Man United). pic.twitter.com/GzK8L4GW4j
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 26, 2015
However, with James Milner having opened the scoring, the England international returned to form in style with this magnificent effort after superb interplay with the aforementioned Milner.
Rodgers can breathe easy…for now at least!