It was a simple shout of “over” from an Englishman to a Brazilian which created the goal to hand Liverpool three points on Saturday.
When Jose Enrique directed an incisive pass toward Daniel Sturridge in the 21st minute of the Reds’ clash with Aston Villa, the No. 15 instinctively asked Philippe Coutinho to leave the ball.
The duo’s speed of thought and rapid execution allowed Sturridge to collect the delivery, round the Villa goalkeeper and calmly smash home into the back of the net.
“It was a great pass from Jose Enrique, I gave Coutinho a little ‘over’ shout and he left it,” the goalscorer later told Liverpoolfc.com. “It shows his English is obviously improving! It was good to be on the end of that and to do what I do — score a goal.
“I just feel like I’m going out there to enjoy myself, I don’t put pressure on myself to score goals.
“It’s weird, I have things going through my head at night — I’m thinking about moves in the game when I’m trying to go to sleep and I can’t get to sleep.
“I’m just enjoying myself. This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life and now I’m just playing to enjoy the game and not playing with any stress.”
Having struck the winner on the opening day against Stoke last weekend, Sturridge’s effort at Villa Park extended his streak to 13 goals in 18 appearances for the club.
All this despite a delayed preseason, too — so what might we expect when the striker considers himself 100 percent fit?
“I don’t know! I’m just trying to enjoy myself and not putting any pressure on myself,” he said. “It’s about not playing with any pressures or worries.
“I’m not 100 percent, I still feel my ankle when I’m playing and fitness-wise I’m not there yet.
“But it’s going to come and I’m blessed to even be playing now because realistically I should still be injured.”
For all of his lethal exploits at the front end of the field, equally noticeable on Saturday was the England international’s willingness to support his teammates defensively.
“I ended up in the right-back position sometimes but that’s what it’s all about. It’s about winning as a team,” added Sturridge. “The manager emphasises playing as a team and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about any individuals, it’s about working hard — working hard on the training field, going into the games knowing that if your mate needs help you’re going to be there for him.”
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