Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva hails 'amazing' Daniel Sturridge after win

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva praised striker Daniel Sturridge after his two goals helped secure a vital 3-2 win over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.

Sturridge, who made his first start of the season in the home draw with Norwich last weekend, eased the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers and left Lucas hailing his "amazing" quality.

England international Sturridge, back to full fitness after five months on the sidelines, put his side on their way to a first win in five games when his brace added to James Milner's early goal.

And Lucas told Liverpool's official website: "We know what Daniel is capable of. He's still not 100 percent in terms of fitness and sharpness, and I think he coped really well with 90 minutes.

"His quality is amazing -- he can score goals, and that's what we were struggling with.

"Of course we still have to improve in a few areas, but working hard and winning games will give you the belief to keep going."

The Brazilian midfielder stressed that the players were behind Rodgers, whose position has been the subject of increasing speculation.

He said: "From the first minute, I think we were the better team.

"People have been criticising us a lot -- the results haven't been good. But today showed we have a great team spirit and a good group of players."

Speaking to the BBC on Saturday, he said Liverpool's players had "wanted to win for the manager,'' adding: "I think we showed we are a group of players behind him and trying to make everything right."