With leveler at Chelsea, Sturridge shows worth to Liverpool

When Daniel Sturridge sent the ball swerving into the roof of the net, it not only recovered a point for Liverpool at Chelsea. It showed Juergen Klopp just how useful the former Chelsea striker can still be.

Since Klopp's arrival in 2015, Sturridge has struggled with injuries and the inability to prove he can fit into the manager's high pressing system.

The 29-year-old Sturridge has scored fewer goals in the last four English Premier League seasons (17) than in the 2013-14 campaign (21) when Liverpool came close to winning the Premier League with Luis Suarez in the frontline.

Back from his loan spell at West Bromwich, Sturridge scored his third goal in six appearances in all competitions after coming off the bench at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. It took only three minutes on the field to curve the ball from 25 yards high past Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper, to clinch the 1-1 draw in the 89th minute.

"He's in the best shape since I've known him," Klopp said. "It's really cool. I'm really happy for him. When he came in the dressing room it was pretty loud. The boys were really happy for him because he's in a good moment."

Sturridge, who joined Liverpool from Chelsea in 2013, was keen after the match to chat with Gianfranco Zola, the former Blues player who is back as a coach under Maurizio Sarri.

"I was just telling him I'm watching his videos — that's how I'm learning," Sturridge said. "A great player ... legend."

While Liverpool's 100 percent start in the league is over, Sturridge ensured his side, like Chelsea and champion Manchester City, does at least remain unbeaten after seven games.

It had looked like Eden Hazard would condemn Liverpool to its second loss to Chelsea inside 70 hours, after sealing progress in the League Cup.

Hazard's seventh goal in eight games in the league and cup came after 25 minutes in a move he started inside his own half.

After flicking the ball to Mateo Kovacic, the ball was held up by the midfielder as Hazard ran through unchecked to receive it back before striking low past goalkeeper Alisson.

But Liverpool's resilience to come back showed why it is level on points with defending champion Manchester City at the top.

"Me and 'Studgey' are getting a bit older now," Liverpool midfielder James Milner said, referring to Sturridge. "But it's a young squad which so much room to improve."

Chelsea is two points behind City and Liverpool in third place.