Premier League: Luis Suarez double fires up Liverpool title push
September 29, 2013 — Updated 1811 GMT (0211 HKT)
- Liverpool move up to second in English Premier League with 3-1 win over Sunderland
- Luis Suarez scores twice with England’s Daniel Sturridge also on the score sheet
- Italian Emanuele Giaccherini grabs consolation goal for rock bottom Sunderland
- Norwich collect a 1-0 away win at Stoke City as Jonathan Howson scores
(CNN) — Love him or loathe him, controversial striker Luis Suarez proved just why Liverpool find it hard to live without him.
The mercurial Uruguayan returned to reignite Liverpool’s Premier League campaign as the Reds moved up to second with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland.
Suarez was playing in his first league game since serving a 10 match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last April.
But Sunday was a day of celebrations not recriminations as Suarez dedicated his two goals to his newborn son Benjamin.
After collecting Daniel Sturridge’s pass across the box to slot in his first goal, Suarez lifted his Liverpool top to reveal a t-shirt dedicated to his wife, daughter and new son “Benja.”
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A black vest top bearing the same message was proudly on display when Sturridge and Suarez repeated their feat on the break in the closing stages of the match.
Suarez needed just one touch as he stroked in his strike partner’s cross in the 88th minute.
Sturridge was the first name on the score sheet at the Stadium of Light when he bundled in Steven Gerrard’s corner in the first half.
The ball glanced off the England striker’s arm and into the net but the incident was not deemed to be a deliberate hand ball by the match officials and the goal stood.
Sunderland, playing their first match since manager Paolo di Canio was axed seven days ago, may have felt luck was not quite on their side.
Italian summer signing Emanuele Giaccherini raced on to a loose ball, scoring early in the second half to give Sunderland hope.
The home side pressed on, creating chances, but interim manager Kevin Ball had to watch another defeat from the sidelines for England’s rock bottom club.
Sunderland continue the season still searching for a first win.
In Sunday’s first Premier League match, Norwich City earned a 1-0 away win at Stoke City thanks to a solitary goal from Jonathan Howson.
The midfielder sent a dipping low drive from 25 yards out past Stoke keeer Asmir Begovic.
Stoke had a penalty appeal turned down in the second half when Leroy Fer appeared to pull back Kenwyne Jones inside the area.
“It’s a penalty,” said Stoke manager Mark Hughes after the match. “But we’re not going to hide behind that decision.
“If we’re honest, Norwich deserved to win because we didn’t do enough.”
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