"Yes, we wanted a trophy, but it has still been a very successful season to see us in this position - one game to go and knowing that if we beat Middlesbrough, Champions League football will be ours".
By the time the final whistle sounded, it felt like a game that had always been certain, a victory that had always been assured.
Sturridge, making his first Premier League start since January, slotted the visitors into a first-half lead before Andre Ayew somehow hit the post twice from two yards out after being presented with an open goal.
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool's 4-0 rout of West Ham proves they can cope with the pressure of fighting for Champions League qualification, but he warned his stars to guard against complacency. "What I have to do is to keep working hard, Liverpool are a big club, we have to bring Liverpool back in the Champions League, because it's where it has to be". This was an important game for us. "We couldn't have done better", said Klopp, who praised Sturridge for "a fantastic game".
"It's going to cost a lot of money for them, I speak to Glen Johnson about him and he says "he's the best player by a country mile and can easily go and play for Barcelona or Real Madrid".
Eurovision 2017 averages 6.7m viewers on BBC One
Portugal has bagged the first rank in this year's Eurovision , followed by Bulgaria at second and Sweden at third rank. Portugal won their first victory in 53 years on Saturday night (13th May) with Salvador Sobral .
"I thought we found a really good mood for this game, and if we can do it in a similar way in the next game then that's good. He's there in the big moments and for me, he's a joy to play with".
Sturridge showed his killer instinct in front of goal, expertly beating the offside trap to run onto Philippe Coutinho's through pass before rounding goalkeeper Adrian and slotting into the empty net.
"We scored some really nice goals but in the first half West Ham had big, big chances - especially to equalise before half-time".
It's obviously a good sign.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, whose team are 12th, admitted his relief at completing their last home match of a turbulent first season at the London Stadium.