Match ends, Liverpool 2, West Ham United 0.
- Sturridge's first Liverpool outing since 31 August
- Liverpool's third straight league win
- Gerrard missing with a tight hamstring
- West Ham no away league win since 2 December
Daniel Sturridge scored on his comeback from injury as Liverpool made it five wins in six Premier League games with victory over West Ham United.
Raheem Sterling struck for the eighth time this season after latching on to Philippe Coutinho's clever pass.
Substitute Sturridge, out for five months, doubled the lead 12 minutes after coming on with a low drive following another Coutinho assist.
West Ham rarely threatened, Andy Carroll going closest with a header.
Sturridge had not played since suffering a thigh injury while on England duty in September. Since then he has injured his calf and thigh again.
But the 25-year-old, making his first appearance in a Reds shirt since 31 August, sealed a thoroughly deserved victory.
The result lifts Brendan Rodgers' side one place up the table to seventh on 38 points, four behind fourth-placed Southampton.
Liverpool are hitting momentum at a crucial stage of the campaign, and they head into the Merseyside derby at Everton on 7 February having taken 17 points from a possible 21.
In contrast West Ham have now won once in their last six top-flight outings.
Sam Allardyce's side created few serious chances but their stubborn defence frustrated the hosts until Sterling made the breakthrough after the interval.
Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva spurned good chances, while Coutinho was denied by a fine save from Adrian after Sterling's clever back-heel.
There was controversy at the end of the first-half when Sterling went down inside the area following a challenge by Joey O'Brien.
But while Liverpool fans screamed for a penalty, the ball fell invitingly for Lazar Markovic who fired wastefully wide.
The hosts went ahead six minutes into the second-half as Sterling produced a composed low finish after a delightful back-heel by Coutinho.
Sturridge received a rapturous reception when he was introduced in the 68th minute.
Twelve minutes later he was celebrating his second goal of the campaign, a trademark low finish following Coutinho's pass.
West Ham had their moments.
Carroll, who was substituted, forced Simon Mignolet into a save with a close-range header, while Enner Valencia also tested the Liverpool keeper from distance.
But this was a fine response from Liverpool after their Capital One Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea in midweek.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "The team stood up to the aerial duels very well, pressed the game well and they got their rewards for that.
"On the back of 120 minutes in midweek, we knew today was going to be a tough game. West Ham have been excellent this season, scored goals throughout the season and been very tough to play against.
"But after the first 15-20 minutes, when we had to compete and battle physically, the players earned the right to play. Some of their football today was outstanding."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "I thought we were more than comfortable in the first half without being as good as we know we can be.
"We've had three players come off injured. We didn't create much. But I hoped with the number of set-plays we were getting and balls behind the Liverpool defence, particularly in the first half, we might have got a little bit more on target."
- 50MarkovicSubstituted forSturridgeat 68'minutes
- 10CoutinhoSubstituted forIbeat 81'minutes
- 31SterlingBooked at 90mins
- 19CollinsSubstituted forDemelat 74'minutes
- 21AmalfitanoSubstituted forNobleat 55'minutes
- 31E Valencia
- 9CarrollBooked at 60minsSubstituted forColeat 63'minutes
- Andre Marriner
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, West Ham United 0.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kevin Nolan (West Ham United).
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Mamadou Sakho.
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).
Stewart Downing (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Alexandre Song (West Ham United).
Foul by Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).
Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Winston Reid (West Ham United) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Liverpool. Jordon Ibe replaces Philippe Coutinho.
Goal! Liverpool 2, West Ham United 0. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.
Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Lallana with a cross.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.