Lucas Leiva hailed the impact of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez after the No.7 punctuated his return to Barclays Premier League football with a two-goal haul against Sunderland.

The Uruguayan was in swashbuckling form alongside Daniel Sturridge at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, converting at the back post twice via assists from the Englishman.

His match-winning performance followed the news that Suarez had become a father for the second time last week; now Lucas is anticipating another effective season from his teammate.

The Brazilian told the Liverpool Echo: "Luis has just become a father again and for him to celebrate with two goals, I am very happy for him.

"He is showing again just how good he is. He is a world-class player and it is so important to have players like that if you want to fight for good things this season.

"Hopefully he will have another fantastic season for us like he did last year.

"Luis showed today with his performance that he is really committed to the team and to the club. He just wants to help us and we will try to help him too."


Although Suarez grabbed the headlines by finding the target twice, Sturridge was equally instrumental, if not more so, in notching once and creating both of his partner's strikes.

"When Dan arrived here, within a few months Luis got the ban so they didn't have much chance to play many games together," continued Lucas.

"But you could see today how well they linked up. The understanding between them is really good and it will only get better.

"It will improve over the course of the season and hopefully they will keep helping us with goals and assists. It was really important for us as a team that we got back on track with a win.

"To lose at home to Southampton was really disappointing and we didn't perform the way we should have done. At Old Trafford we played well but didn't get the result. This was a great game for us to respond.

"After going 2-0 up, we knew they would come back at us at the start of the second half. They got back into it but after they scored we controlled the game quite well.

"We were solid defensively and then we got a brilliant goal on the counter-attack to kill the game off. Overall we deserved the victory and the three points has moved us back up the table."

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A minor blip occurred during proceedings, however, with Lucas picking up a fifth booking of the season against the Black Cats, meaning a one-match suspension.

The 26-year-old said: "To be fair, I think it was quite harsh.

"The previous booking I got against Man United was another one that I didn't think I deserved, but I will work to improve that element of my game.

"It is frustrating because having just got back into the Brazil squad I wanted to play every game I could.

"I wanted to help my teammates against Palace but I will be there supporting them and hopefully I will return against Newcastle."