Brendan Rodgers, after seeing Luis Suárez score twice on his Premier League return following a 10-game ban for biting, suggested the striker's partnership with Daniel Sturridge could become the division's finest.

Sturridge, who scored Liverpool's opener in their 3-1 win at Sunderland, also created both Suárez's goals and his manager could not have been more delighted.

"I'm not sure there's two better in the league," he said after the Merseysiders rose to second in the table. "These two can be the best in the country. The two of them looked very bright but they can only get better. Daniel is becoming much more of a team player. They are two very different players which makes it difficult for defenders. The dynamics look good."

Sunderland proved powerless to resist a pairing well serviced by Steven Gerrard and well supported by the 3-4-1-2 formation that Rodgers has devised for them.

"Liverpool have enormous attacking threat," said Kevin Ball, the caretaker successor to the sacked Paolo Di Canio whose team's performance drew considerable praise from Rodgers but whose points tally remains one from six games. "And Luis Suárez is world class."

Rodgers, clearly relieved Suárez's summer flirtation with Arsenal ultimately came to nothing, did not demur. "Luis is not fazed by much," he said, with some understatement. "He's got a remarkable mentality. His determination is just so focused. He's great for the team, great for the supporters.

"Luis is someone who loves football. I know how much it [the ban] hurt him. During it he wanted lots of extra work, extra finishing sessions, extra conditioning sessions. When he came back he wanted to be up to speed. He knew it would be very hard for him if he wasn't very good when he came back."