LONDON // Liverpool maintained their chase for a Europa League slot as a fortunate Dirk Kuyt penalty and a great goal by Luis Suarez secured a comfortable 2-0 Premier League win at Sunderland on Sunday.
Liverpool were gifted the lead after 33 minutes when John Mensah brought down Jay Spearing just outside the box only for the referee to award a penalty, which Kuyt duly converted.
Suarez made the game safe in the 77th minute when he cut in from the right and, almost from the byline, lashed in shot inside the near post of Simon Mignolet.
Sunderland, who have taken only one point from their last six games, barely created a chance all day but were on the end of another harsh decision five minutes later when Mensah was sent off for bringing down Suarez on the edge of the box after the mildest of collisions.
After being knocked out of the Europa League by Braga on Thursday, sixth-placed Liverpool's only chance of European football next season is if they can finish in the top five and Sunday's win takes them to 45 points, four behind current fifth-placed team Tottenham Hotspur.