Luis Suarez scored twice and added an assist as Liverpool rolled past Sunderland
Sunderland started the match well but the tide began to turn in the 12th minute when the Reds got their first really good chance of the game. Luis Suarez was taken down in a dangerous position by Matthew Kilgallon. The subsequent free kick by Stewart Downing was pushed away at the last moment by a diving Simon Mignolet.
The goals would come though for Liverpool.
In the 18th minute, Suarez made a ridiculously good pass from the midfield in to the path of Raheem Sterling who had to wait a second or two for the ball to stop bouncing before chipping the ball over Mignolet. The Sunderland keeper had come off his line trying to reduce the target options Sterling had but the youngster calmly hit the ball right over his head to give Liverpool the 1-0 lead.
Suarez was at it again in the 26th minute counter attacking down the right wing. Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar tried to foul Suarez and did, sort of, as the referee played advantage after Cuellar tripped over himself and Suarez stayed on his feet. The striker ignored Jordan Henderson who was set-up in the box and beat Mignolet between his legs to make it 2-0.
Sunderland wasted a couple chances to get back in the match including a golden opportunity after a free kick in the 34th minute. The initial effort hit off the wall but the rebound was sent to the far post where Steven Fletcher's header was parried away by Pepe Reina. James McClean had wasted a great chance of his own a few minutes earlier, sending his shot from close ranger just wide of the post.
The Black Cats' misery continued in the second half.
In the 52nd minute Steven Gerrard made a 60+ yard laser beam pass to Suarez's foot as he raced in to the Sunderland box. Suarez made one quick touch to settle the ball and beat Mignolet with a low shot. A lovely finish but the fact that two Black Cats defenders were beaten by a pass that originated by just outside the Liverpool defensive third is quite shameful.
Liverpool put the ball in the back of the net twice more, courtesy of Glen Johnson and Joe Allen, but both times the assistant referee had their flag up. Basically it was not a good day for Sunderland.