Brendan Rodgers praises Raheem Sterling as Liverpool win

By Ben SmithBBC Sport at Anfield
'Excellent' Liverpool delight Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers singled Raheem Sterling out for praise after the 17-year-old earned the Liverpool manager his first home victory in the Premier League since taking over at Anfield.

The England Under-21 winger scored the only goal of the win over Reading.

The strike means his is now the club's second-youngest scorer in Premier League history after Michael Owen.

"He is a terrific talent but he has a good head on young shoulders," said Rodgers.

Sterling's goal sealed what was only Liverpool's third league win at Anfield in 2012.

Luis Suarez's first-time flick over the defence enabled Sterling to beat Reading's Shaun Cummings for pace and fire a low shot across goalkeeper Alex McCarthy into the bottom corner.

"I am pleased for him," added Rodgers. "It is a part of his game we have been working on. He has got good pace, so once he is on the inside he can break the line and get in behind.

"We have been doing a lot of work on the training field, but all credit to him. He has to identify when to go in and he did that.

"It was a wonderful finish because he is going away from the goal and he has a quick defender tracking him. But he finished it really well across the goalkeeper."

Liverpool spurned a series of good chances in the second half, with Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Jonjo Shelvey all missing out when well placed.

Rodgers admitted he was relieved to secure a first home win in the Premier League but conceded his team's finishing would have to improve.

"We should have had three points here long before today," Rodgers said.

"We had 19 shots at goal and we have got to improve our finishing, which is an ongoing theme. But getting the three points and a clean sheet was the most important thing."

When asked if Liverpool's failure to win in front of their own supporters in the league had been a source of worry, Rodgers added: "You don't want it to keep dragging on.

"But what gave me comfort was the ability and mindset of the players. They have kept working and you have seen the perseverance, but you never want it to run and today was important."