Sturridge keeps Liverpool's title bid alive
Liverpool are right in the thick of the title race after a thrilling 4-3 home win over Swansea City on Sunday.
LONDON - Liverpool are right in the thick of the title race after a thrilling 4-3 home win over Swansea City on Sunday.
Fourth-placed Liverpool are four points behind leaders Chelsea and six points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur who are fifth after suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat at struggling Norwich City.
Sturridge, who matched former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy's feat of scoring in eight straight Premier League matches, netted in the third minute at Anfield.
Jordan Henderson quickly made it 2-0 before Liverpool old boy Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony drew Swansea level by the 27th minute.
"A wonderful victory for us. Swansea played really well especially when we were 2-0 up to come back into the game," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports television.
"An outstanding result for us that again typified the character of this team."
Rodgers's team may have been expected to push on but 12th-placed Swansea are a tougher nut to crack under new manager Garry Monk and they hit back through Shelvey with a well-taken shot from the edge of the box.
Luis Suarez, who has not scored in his last four league matches, was unable to find the target after a sublime ball from captain Steven Gerrard but Henderson netted on the rebound to keep Liverpool on course for a first Champions League appearance since 2009-10.
Robert Snodgrass eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton with a second-half goal, hurting Tottenham's bid to qualify for next season's Champions League in the process.
Spurs, who had to travel to Ukraine for a Europa League fixture on Thursday, looked sluggish in the first half and were thankful Norwich lacked a cutting edge up front with Sebastien Bassong and Ricky van Wolfswinkel spurning decent opportunities.
Emmanuel Adebayor had two good opportunities to draw Spurs level but was let down by a heavy touch that allowed keeper John Ruddy to clear the danger.
The win lifted Norwich to 14th place, four points above the drop zone.
"I certainly felt we deserved it," said Hughton. "We had other opportunities and probably could have taken a little pressure off ourselves which has probably been a little bit the story of our season.
"What I'm delighted about mostly is that we kept up the level of our performance."
Newcastle, who had not scored in four games, appeared to be on their way to another disappointing result before Remy, returning after a three-match suspension, struck with moments remaining at St James' Park.
"It was beginning to hang over us, that lack of a goal," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. "Our commitment and work-rate are what probably saw us over the line."
Newcastle are eighth with 40 points, one ahead of Southampton.