The Brazilian playmaker began the season in blistering form, but his displays over the festive period cooled off along with City's fine start to the campaign.
However, Elano's penalty was his second goal in his last three outings, encouraging Eriksson to believe his early season form has returned.
"It's good to see a player like Elano coming back and doing so many good things again, because we need the real Elano and I hope he stays like this," Eriksson told the club's official website.
"He's been out of form a little bit for some time, he and (Martin) Petrov have been important for us in terms of scoring and creating goals all season.
"Petrov was out of the team for a while, Elano was out of form so it's good to see them back like this.
"Elano's the player with imagination who can see things, play team-mates in and score goals as well, but he worked hard defensively against Sunderland as well. That was important with what kind of game we knew it would be."