MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Luis Suarez returned to the Premier League in explosive fashion yesterday, teaming up with strike partner Daniel Sturridge to propel Liverpool to a 3-1 win at Sunderland that inflicted more misery on the division's managerless bottom team.
Liverpool climbed to second place in the standings, two points behind Arsenal, after Suarez added to Sturridge's contentious opening goal that came off his arm by scoring twice at the Stadium of Light.
After serving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a league match in April, Suarez made his comeback in a frustrating League Cup loss to Manchester United last Wednesday.
He found the cutting edge against Sunderland, though, to help Liverpool earn a fourth win in six games and provide another demonstration of his burgeoning partnership with Sturridge that was cut short by Suarez's act of folly five months ago.
"He's getting the reward for his hard work over the period that he was off," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said of Suarez. "Him and Daniel up front are a real, real handful. They combined very well."
Norwich beat Stoke 1-0 in yesterday's other match, with Jonny Howson scoring the winner from long range in the 34th minute to secure his team's second victory of the season.
Suarez couldn't have asked for more compliant opposition in his comeback match in the Premier League, with Sunderland having now lost five of their six games and being stranded at the foot of the table on just one point.
Interim manager Kevin Ball, who is in charge following the firing of Paolo Di Canio last weekend, was unable to shore up the league's leakiest defence in the face of one of the leading strike partnerships in English football.
Sturridge climbed to the top of the scoring charts with his fifth goal of the campaign, inadvertently bundling the ball with his upper arm after misjudging the flight of Steven Gerrard's corner in the 28th minute.
Sturridge then turned provider, cutting in from the right and crossing for Suarez to poke in at the far post in the 36th. After Emanuele Giaccherini had halved the deficit in the 52nd, the same combination struck for Liverpool again to seal victory in the 89th, Sturridge making inroads down the left flank this time and crossing for Suarez to hook home a left-footed finish.
"It's great to have him back in, he gives us options and he's one of the best forwards in the league," Sturridge said of Suarez. "We form a good partnership."
Liverpool went above third-place Tottenham on goals scored and are now six points above arch-rivals Man United, who sit in 12th place after losing 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
United are level on seven points with Stoke and Norwich, who served up poor fare at Britannia Stadium except for Howson's brilliant effort that separated the sides.
"It was a disappointing performance and we were poor," said Stoke manager Mark Hughes, whose team outplayed Man City in their last home game. "We never got any pace or power into our game, which is unlike us."
Barclays premier league review: Sept 28-29
ASTON VILLA 3 MANCHESTER CITY 2
Manchester City suffered another away disappointment, wasting the lead twice before losing at Villa Park. Yaya Toure scored first to give City hope of recording a first away win of the season. Karim El Ahmadi's close-range finish levelled matters, only for Edin Dzeko to head City back into the lead. But Villa equalised through Leandro Bacuna's free kick before snatching the three points when Andreas Weimann raced through and poked home late on.
GOALS - VILLA: EL AHMADI 51; BACUNA 72; WEIMANN 75. CITY: TOURE 45; DZEKO 56.
FULHAM 1 CARDIFF CITY 2
Gordon Mutch's injury-time winner gave Cardiff City their first away win in the top flight for 52 years - when they won at Fulham. Steven Caulker headed Cardiff into the lead from an early corner. The visitors' aerial prowess troubled Fulham throughout and it took a fine, curled solo goal from Bryan Ruiz to bring a misfiring Fulham level. But substitute Mutch won another high ball in the dying stages and swivelled to hit a brilliant 25-yard strike into the top corner.
GOALS - FULHAM: RUIZ 45. CARDIFF: CAULKER 12; MUTCH 90.
HULL CITY 1 WEST HAM UNITED 2
A controversial Robbie Brady penalty put Hull seventh in the Barclays Premier League as West Ham's problems continued. The Irish winger slotted home after Joey O'Brien was judged to have shoved him, although contact appeared minimal. James Tomkins had a header cleared off the line and Razvan Rat fired over as the visitors pushed for an equaliser.
GOAL - HULL: BRADY PEN 12.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2
Saido Berahino's low strike earned West Brom their first win over Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1978. Morgan Amalfitano's composed chip over David De Gea put West Brom in front after the break before Wayne Rooney's free-kick brought United level. Berahino then got his first Barclays Premier League goal, with Marouane Fellaini's late effort ruled out for offside. The defeat for United ensured their worst start to a league campaign after six games since 1989-90.
GOALS - UNITED: ROONEY 57. WBA: AMALFITANO 54; BERAHINO 67.
SOUTHAMPTON 2 CRYSTAL PALACE 0
Record signing Dani Osvaldo scored his first goal for Southampton as they beat Crystal Palace to climb to fourth in the Barclays Premier League. Palace striker Marouane Chamakh was booked for diving when clean through while Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin saw his header cleared off the line. Osvaldo found the net shortly after the restart with a neat low finish from just inside the box. Rickie Lambert made it 2-0 shortly after with a fine 25-yard free kick.
GOALS - SOUTHAMPTON: OSVALDO 47; LAMBERT 49.
SWANSEA CITY 1 ARSENAL 2
Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to two points as goals from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey saw them to victory at Swansea. After Tottenham and Chelsea drew, and Manchester United and Manchester City lost, the Gunners capitalised to maintain their early-season promise. Teenager Gnabry slotted the opener after half-time and in-form Ramsey fired in to double the advantage. Ben Davies volleyed home to give Swansea hope but Arsenal held on.
GOALS:-SWANSEA: DAVIES 82. ARSENAL: GNABY 58; RAMSEY 62.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 CHELSEA 1
Andre Villas-Boas's reunion with his former mentor Jose Mourinho ended with honours even as John Terry's header gave Chelsea a point at White Hart Lane. Gylfi Sigurdsson ensured Tottenham had the first-half lead their dominance deserved but Chelsea were revitalised by the introduction of Juan Mata at half-time and Terry's equaliser came as he headed home the Spaniard's free kick after 65 minutes. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres was unluckily sent off with nine minutes left after receiving a second yellow card.
GOALS - TOTTENHAM: SIGURDDON 19. CHELSEA: TERRY 65.
STOKE CITY 0 NORWICH CITY 1
Norwich earned their second league win of the season as Jonny Howson's first-half goal proved enough to beat Stoke. Howson found the net from 25 yards with a low strike in a game of few chances. The Canaries started brightly with Ryan Bennett crashing an effort off the crossbar before seeing his rebound saved by keeper Asmir Begovic.
GOAL - NORWICH: HOWSON 34.
SUNDERLAND 1 LIVERPOOL 3
Luis Suarez marked his Barclays Premier League return with two goals as Liverpool beat Sunderland to go second in the table. Playing in the league for the first time since 21 April after a 10-match ban for biting, Suarez twice tapped in after being set up by Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge put the Reds ahead at the Stadium of Light with a close-range effort that appeared to hit his arm. Emanuele Giaccherini pulled one back for Sunderland in between the Suarez efforts, but Liverpool held on.
GOALS - SUNDERLAND: GIACCHERINI 52. LIVERPOOL: STURRIDGE 28; SUAREZ 36, 89.
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1. Arsenal 6 5 0 1 13 7 6 15
2. Liverpool 6 4 1 1 8 4 4 13
3. Tottenham 6 4 1 1 6 2 4 13
4. Chelsea 6 3 2 1 7 3 411
5. Southampton 6 3 2 1 5 2 311
6. Man City 6 3 1 2 14 7 7 10
7. Hull City 6 3 1 2 6 7 -1 10
8. Everton 5 2 3 0 6 4 2 9
9. Aston Villa 6 3 0 3 9 8 1 9
10. West Brom 6 2 2 2 6 5 1 8
11. Cardiff City 6 2 2 2 6 7 -1 8
12. Man United 6 2 1 3 8 8 0 7
13. Swansea City 6 2 1 3 8 9 -1 7
14. Norwich City 6 2 1 3 4 6 -2 7
15. Stoke City 6 2 1 3 4 6 -2 7
16. Newcastle 5 2 1 2 5 8 -3 7
17. West Ham 6 1 2 3 4 5 -1 5
18. Fulham 6 1 1 4 4 9 -5 4
19. Crystal Palace 6 1 0 5 4 10 -6 3
20. Sunderland 6 0 1 5 4 14 -10 1