Gerrard and Sturridge on target as Reds continue title march
Liverpool 2 Sunderland 1
Liverpool may be third favourites in a three-horse race to lift the Premier League title but they continue to get results like they neither know nor care.
Struggling Sunderland were a hurdle they were expected to clear comfortably but the 2-1 scoreline showed it was not a trademark performance of fluidity and control.
Steven Gerrard's free-kick broke their opponents' resistance late in the first half but it was Daniel Sturridge's strike just after the break which had statisticians reaching for the history books before substitute Ki Sung-Yeung's header made for a tense finish.
In scoring his 20th league goal of the campaign, moving to within eight of team-mate Luis Suarez, England international Sturridge ensured he and his strike partner achieved a feat not seen in these parts for 50 years since Ian St John and Roger Hunt achieved it.
Only six times previously have two Liverpool players scored 20 league goals apiece and in four of those campaigns they went on to win a league title - twice Division One and twice Division Two.
A banner in the Kop before kick-off read 'Anything is possible if you believe' and by the end the stadium was reverberating to chants of 'We're going to win the league'.
There is still plenty of ground to cover before their 24-year wait becomes a reality and the visits of Chelsea and Manchester City take on greater significance with every passing day.
But a seventh successive victory moved them back into second place in the table, just a point behind the Stamford Bridge club, and two ahead of City, who have a couple of matches in hand.