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Suarez, Sturridge power Liverpool past Stoke City

Stoke-on-Trent, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Luis Suarez continued his blistering scoring pace on Sunday as he bagged a brace and Daniel Sturridge scored late to lift Liverpool to a scintillating 5-3 victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Coming off a 2-0 win over Hull City at Anfield on New Year's Day, Brendan Rodgers' men needed a quick start in a hostile environment if they were to claim three points, and they got that fast start just five minutes into the game when a strike from Aly Cissokho was deflected into the net by Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross.

The visitors doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark when errors by a pair of Stoke defenders and young goalkeeper Jack Butland allowed Suarez to sweep home a long clearance from Martin Skrtel for his first of the day.

Stoke clawed its way back into the match with a brilliant header into the bottom left corner from Peter Crouch and a wicked strike from Charlie Adam in first-half stoppage time, putting the clubs on level terms at the break.

After the interval, Liverpool grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck when youngster Raheem Sterling worked his way into the penalty area and was chopped down, earning his side a penalty kick which captain Steven Gerrard calmly dispatched for a 3-2 lead in the 50th minute.

Suarez completed his brace with a goal from a tight angle to make it 4-2 and give the Reds some control on 71 minutes, but Jonathan Walters ripped one through the legs of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to make it 4-3 with five minutes to play.

But Sturridge, who made his return to the pitch after a nine-game injury absence, put the result away when he collected a cutting pass from Suarez and turned it in with his favored left foot to seal the three points.

The result sees Liverpool climb back into the top four on 42 points, while Stoke City stay in 12th place on 22 points.

Manchester City 2, Newcastle 0

Newcastle, England - Manchester City rose to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday after earning a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United at St. James' Park.

Coming off a much-needed 3-2 road victory over Swansea City in league play on New Year's Day. the Citizens went in search of a second consecutive win on their travels and got off to a quick start eight minutes in when Aleksandar Kolarov sent a low cross into the area where Edin Dzeko smashed it home with a left-footed first-time strike.

Controversy arose on Tyneside in the 34th minute when the Magpies appeared to have found a spectacular equalizer through a 25-yard blast by Cheik Tiote, but it wasn't to be as the goal was called back for offside.

Newcastle kept the pressure up in the second half and collected several more chances on goal, but were eventually undone in stoppage time when Alvaro Negredo sealed the points for Manchester City.

City jumps one point ahead of Chelsea for the top spot, while the Magpies remain in eighth place on 33 points.