Lucas Leiva has sent out a warning to Liverpool's Barclays Premier League rivals, insisting Daniel Sturridge will only get better as he works his way back to full fitness in the coming weeks.

The striker was the Reds' hero as Aston Villa were downed 3-2 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon, finding the back of the net twice in the second half to secure the three points for the hosts.

The significance of Sturridge's brace was not lost on fans, the manager and his teammates, coming as it did in just his second start since returning to action after undergoing hip surgery in May.

Lucas was not surprised to see the No.15 flourish, however, and confidently predicted that there is even more to come as the season progresses.

"We know what Daniel is capable of," he told after the game.

"He's still not 100 per cent in terms of fitness and sharpness and I think he coped really well today with 90 minutes. 

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

"I think it was very positive to get three goals, 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."

Prior to seeing off Tim Sherwood's side, Liverpool had not tasted victory since a 1-0 success against Bournemouth in mid-August.

And Lucas was under no illusions as to the importance of the win against Villa, which he believes was the product of the strong team spirit at the club.

"I think it's so important," he continued.

"We've been through a lot the last few weeks and we knew it was an important game to get the three points, and I think we deserved it. 

"From the first minute I think we were the better team. 

"We still have a few things to improve but I think the most important thing today was to win and get the three points and hopefully it's going to be the win that will keep us going. We have two massive games ahead of us now.

"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 that want to fight to the end to get things right. 

"It was a good game for us [getting] back to winning ways and hopefully it will keep us going with more confidence."