Black Cats downed by Suarez double.
Emanuele Giaccherini’s third goal of the season was not enough to prevent Sunderland from going down to a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool at the Stadium of Light.
Luis Suarez scored either side of Giaccherini’s strike to earn the three points for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for the Reds on an afternoon when the Black Cats had large spells of the play but failed to create clear cut chances.
Kevin Ball named an unchanged side from Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Peterborough with Cabral and the ineligible Fabio Borini replaced on the substitutes bench by Ji Dong-Won and Ondrej Celustka.
Simon Mignolet and Jordan Henderson were in the visitors’ starting XI on their return to Wearside.
Suarez was the first player to go close to opening the scoring as Kolo Toure won possession and set the Uruguayan away but the frontman shot wide from 25 yards.
Giaccherini nearly gave the hosts the lead with a lob which just evaded the back post before the ball failed to fall kindly for John O’Shea when the Irish international was well placed in the area.
Keiren Westwood produced a fine a save to keep the scores level as the Irish stopper palmed Steven Gerrard’s free-kick away before Martin Skrtel’s follow up was ruled out for offside.
Adam Johnson then linked up well with Jozy Altidore to find space but the England international dragged his left foot shot wide.
Seb Larsson went closest to a first-half goal for the Black Cats as his curling free-kick beat Mignolet but crashed against the crossbar.
Sturridge opened the scoring on the half hour as he bundled home Gerrard’s corner at the back post.
Sunderland weren’t far from equalising immediately as O’Shea met Johnson’s corner at the near post but the Black Cats’ captain couldn’t quite direct his header on target.
Suarez doubled Liverpool’s advantage ten minutes before the break as Sturridge latched on to Gerrard’s long ball and slid the ball across the area for the Uruguayan international to tap home.
Craig Gardner tried to force a way back into the game for the hosts as he burst into the area to meet Lee Cattermole’s lovely chipped pass but former Black Cat Mignolet denied the former Birmingham City man at close range.
Johnson curled a left-footed shot just wide from the corner of the box as Ball’s side pushed for an equaliser prior to the half-time interval.
Suarez went close to adding a third early in the second-half but he shot wide when Gerrard’s corner fell kindly to him at the back post.
Giaccherini gave the Black Cats a way back into the game after Ki’s initial shot was saved by Mignolet and the Italian international followed up to calmly finish from close range.
The goal sparked added life into the Sunderland attack and Gardner nearly levelled for the hosts with a crisp 25-yard drive but Mignolet parried just wide.
Altidore and Larsson both went close to an equaliser but Mignolet was equal to everything the Black Cats began to throw at him.
Westwood then produced a fine save to keep Sunderland in the game as Victor Moses’ shot deflected off Giaccherini and looked destined for the top corner only for the Irish international to tip the ball over.
Suarez went close to doubling Liverpool’s advantage as he got on the end of Jose Enrique’s deep cross but the Uruguayan was denied by Westwood at close range.
The Liverpool frontman bagged his second in the final minute of the game as the Reds broke forward on the counter-attack and Suarez was on hand to drive home Sturridge’s pull back.
- Yellow Colback
- Cattermole (Celustka)
- Larsson (Mavrias)
- Yellow Giaccherini
- Enrique Sanchez Diaz
- Leiva Yellow
- Moses (Sterling)