Suarez enjoys dream debut

New Liverpool signing shows there is life after Torres as Man City are held at Birmingham in English Premier League.

    He hasn't even trained with the team yet, but Suarez shows there is life after Torres [AFP]

    It was three wins in a row for Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool, and a dream debut for new signing Luis Suarez who took just 16 minutes after coming off the bench to score for his new club in their 2-0 win over Stoke in England's Premier League.

    Victory saw the Merseysiders, who lost talisman Fernando Torres to Chelsea on transfer deadline day, continue their resurgence.

    Elsewhere Manchester City slipped eight points behind leaders and city rivals Manchester United with a 2-2 draw at lowly Birmingham. The draw left City three points behind second-place Arsenal and two ahead of Chelsea.

    Tottenham maintained their challenge for the final Champions League spot with a 1-0 win at Blackburn, secured through Peter Crouch's third-minute goal, and Daniel Sturridge scored on his Bolton debut for a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    Roaring Reds

    Liverpool went ahead in the 47th minute at Anfield when Raul Meireles crashed the ball in after Stoke had failed to clear a Steven Gerrard shot.

    Suarez, a $36 million signing from Ajax, came on for Fabio Aurelio shortly after the hour mark.

    And in the 79th minute he sealed Liverpool's third straight clean sheet win under Dalglish when he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball in despite a despairing attempt by Andy Wilkinson, who deflected the strike into his own net, to hack clear.

    "We're all delighted with that result - and three clean sheets in a row is a great return," Dalglish said.

    "Everyone's pleased for Luis too. He hasn't even trained with us yet but he showed what he's all about tonight and I can't wait to get working with him."

    Fading chances

    City led 2-1 through Carlos Tevez's 15th Premier League goal of the season and Aleksander Kolarov's first, but Craig Gardner equalised with a 77th-minute penalty for Patrick Vieira's foul on Kevin Phillips.

    EPL results

    Tuesday February 1

     Arsenal 2-1 Everton
     Sunderland 2-4 Chelsea
     Man Utd 3-1 Aston Villa
     West Brom 2-2 Wigan

    Wednesday February 2

     Birmingham 2-2 Man City
     Blackburn 0-1 Tottenham
     Blackpool 1-3 West Ham
     Bolton 1-0 Wolverhampton
     Fulham 1-0 Newcastle
     Liverpool 2-0 Stoke

    Tevez collected a fourth-minute pass from David Silva and put City ahead with an angled shot that took a slight deflection off Birmingham's Martin Jiranek on its way into the far corner.

    Nikola Zigic equalised in the 23rd, but Kolarov restored City's advantage four minutes before half time with a free kick hit from outside the area into the bottom left corner.

    Gardner won it, though, following Vieira's clumsy challenge.

    After just one win in four Premier League matches, City's challenge for a first title since 1968 is fading.

    Tottenham had several key Spurs players injured or suspended but Crouch clinched victory for his depleted team, leaping above defender Christopher Samba to head Rafael van der Vaart's cross into the corner.

    Tottenham kept a firm hold of fifth place and are three points behind Chelsea, who occupy fourth place and the final Champions League qualifying spot.

    "It's a great result for us. I was delighted with the performance,'' Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said.

    "We had to chop and change it a bit this week.''

    SOURCE: Agencies


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