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March 22, 2014
• Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 28018
J. Mutch 9', 88'
F. Campbell 25'
L. Suárez 16', 60', 90'+
M. Škrtel 41', 54'
D. Sturridge 75'
Thanks for being with us, I've been Greg Taylor, have a great Saturday evening.
FULLTIME: Where do you start? Liverpool go toe to toe with Chelsea and hit six but what a performance by Suarez. He has been immense all season and another hat trick from him was the difference here today. Liverpool remain in second and are still well and truly alive in the title race. Cardiff took the lead through Jordan Mutch but Suarez soon levelled before Frazier Campbell put his side back in front. Skrtel equalised before half time before the Suarez show in the second half. Another Skrtel header made it 3-2 but two more from Suarez plus a Sturridge goal meant Liverpool won in style and nudged Cardiff ever nearer to relegation.
90' + 6'
90' + 6'
90' + 6'
GOAL! Skrtel launches a ball down field, Suarez is still hungry to get his hat trick, he knocks Torres off the ball far too easily and is left one on one with Marshall. He waits a little before smashing it into the net for his 28th goal of the season.
90' + 5'
Another foul on Zaha, I wonder if it's because he's a Man Utd player? Cardiff have another corner, can they get another consolation goal? No, Agger gets it away.
90' + 4'
Yellow CardJoe Allen
90' + 3'
Suarez goes for his third from distnace but Marshall palms it away. There will be five minutes of added time as Skrtel brings down Zaha for another Cardiff free kick.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Yellow CardMartin Skrtel
Surely Cardiff can't score two goals in the final few minutes. Zaha is bundled over by Johnson and the Bluebirds have another free kick with Fabio standing over it. It's a good delivery but Agger rises above everyone to nod it away to saefty.
GOAL! Cardiff have kept going and have given their fans something to shout about. A long ball into the box is nodded down by Jones to Mutch who heads it past a helpless Mignolet. Never a dull moment with Liverpool is there?
Liverpool should have a sixth. Suarez plays Streling in on the left, he should hit it first time but instead takes an extra touch and is unable to get his shot away allowing Torres to tackle him and launch it down field.
Interesting to see Zaha and Sterling facing off against each other. Their careers have taken very different paths over the last 18 months. I wonder if Zaha wishes he'd signed for someone else now?
Suarez almost slips Henderson in but even the young Englishman isn't that quick. Cardiff quickly switch it wide to Mutch who tries to take a first time shot but Gerrard nips in to win the ball back for his side. Marvel.
Cardiff playing for pride now. They started so well but Liverpool are simply too good for them. Defensively they;ve been outdone by swift counter attacks and clinical finishing. Rodgers must just love watching his side every week for free.
STAT ATTACK: The last time Liverpool failed to score in a league match was against Arsenal on 2 November, 19 matches ago.
GOAL! It's now Sturridge's turn to get on the score sheet. Johnson plays a 60 yard searching ball to Suarez who hold sit up and waits for Sturridge's run, he sweeps it into the path of his strike partner who duly buries it past Marshall.
It's been pretty scrappy since that fourth Liverpool goal. Five changes this half and with Cardiff changing to a different system, the game isn't flowing like it was in the first half.
Coutinho is replaced by Sterling. I'm sure Cardiff are realy pleased about that. Cardiff make their final change with Jones on for local hero Bellamy.
CHANCE! Good switch by Sturridge to Henderson who feeds the overlapping Johnson, his low cross is toward Suarez but Caulker gets a very important interception.
So Solskjaer makes a change, he brings on Man Utd loanee Wilfried Zaha for Declan John. Can he help his side get back into this?
Another corner for Cardiff, Bellamy swings it in towards Mutch whos eheader is just over. If they could score we'd have a cracking final 25 minutes on our hands.
Chelsea threw down the gauntlet at lunchtime and after falling behind, Liverpool are responding in style. Cardiff have a corner and it falls to Caulker whose shot hits the side netting.
GOAL! It's Suarez again! Henderson slips Johnson in down the right, he drills a low cross into the near post to Sturridge who brilliantly plays a back heel pass to the on rushing Suarez who hammers it home from six yards out. They are simply stunning in attack.
STAT ATTACK! Liverpool have now recorded their biggest ever Premier League goal tally with 79 so far this season.
Liverpool look in the mood now to really see of Cardiff. Fabio makes another silly challenge on Sturridge and they have another free kick. Solskjaer in his technical area barking orders, time for plan B?
GOAL! Would you believe it, they've done it again. Skrtel is the hero, Coutinho whips in the corner and the defender rises above Caulker to nod it past Marshall. They never when they're beaten, very reminiscent of Man Utd.
Théophile-Catherineis just receving treatmnet after Suarez booted the ball right at his head. Ouch. Liverpool do have a corner though.
Free kick for Liverpool in a very dangerous position. Gerrard and Suarez standing over it, again it's the Uruguayan who takes it but again it's into the wall.
Yellow CardFabio Da Silva
Cardiff get another corner, after more sloppy play by Liverpool. Bellamy's delivery is poor and Liverpool break with Sturridge feeding Suarez but Medel gets across him and breaks up the attack.
FIRST HALF STATS: Liverpool dominated possession, seeing 71 per cent of the ball and also had more attempts on goal with eight to Cardiff's five.
And we're back underway, with the SAS kicking off.
Mutch opened the scoring with a great left footed curling effort in the opening 10 minutes, but Liverpool equalised immediately thanks to Suarez's neat finish. But Cardiff didn't lose confidence and scored again through Campbell who drilled a low shot past Mignolet after wrong footing Skrtel. The Bluebirds would have hoped to go in at halftime leading but Skrtel's neat finish meant both sides are level at the break.
HALFTIME: I think both managers will want to get in at half time and run a few ideas past their players. It's been a great opening 45 minutes for the attackers but defensively, very poor by both sides.
45' + 1'
Liverpool just holding onto the ball in the middle, Gerrard switches it out wide to Coutinho, the Brazilian plays it to Suarez on the right who gets to the byline but his cross is poor and Marshall catches it.
Gerrard has got to be a little careful. He's made a few late challenges now, and with him already on a yellow card, he'll need to be a little more vigilant if he wants to to last the 90 minutes. Liverpool corner after Suarez's effort is deflected wide.
GOAL! So, so simple. Gerrard plays it wide to Coutinho, he takes his time and whips in a great ball into the six yard box and it's Skrtel who reacts first to toe poke his effort past Marshall. Poor defending by Cardiff.
Lovely play by Liverpool, Cardiff haven't had the ball for about a minute and it ends up with Gerrard floating a ball into Henderson at the back post who hits a shot first time high and wide.
Liverpool just aren't pressing as well today, Cardiff have plenty of time on the ball and are looking good before the break. Sturridge receives the ball on the left who cuts inside and goes for goal but his shot is deflected and Marshall easily saves.
So far not a pleasant return to Wales for former Swansea manager Rodgers. But he'll know his side have goals in them and have come from behind on a number of occasions this season and gone on to win.
Cardiff have bene very good defensively so far. Solskjaer is doing a Wigan and has gone with three at the back to try and stop SAS. So far it's working well. Liverpool free kick, Suarez takes it but it's straight into the wall and out for a corner.
Bellamy tries one from distance but Skrtel blocks it, it bounces straight back to the Welshman who crosses long into the box but Mignolet calmly claims the ball.
STAT ATTACK: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won just two of his 10 league games since taking over at Cardiff (W2, D1, L7). Can he make it a third win today?
Before that goal Cardiff really looked very vulnerable but they've shown great character to re take the lead. Gerrard already on a yellow card has just taken out Bellamy on the far side. That was a yellow card, perhaps some favourtism for the England skipper there?
GOAL! Would you believe it, Cardiff lead again. There's a huge hole in the Liverpool defence on the right hand side, Mutch slips in Campbell who cuts inside of Skrtel and curls a shot past Mignolet from 12 yards out. Great start to this game.
Bellamy skips past Flanagan and Skrtel and delivers a handy ball for Campbell who out jumps Agger but heads his effort just over the bar. Better by Solskaer's men.
CLOSE! Coutinho flicks it inside to Allen who feeds Sturridge on the wide left, the England forward curls a dangerous ball across the six yard box with Suarez waiting but the Uruguayan is unable to make contact.
Liverpool now definitely on top. Cardiff have been chasing shadows the last few minutes, Gerrard and Allen have looked excellent on the ball and Suarez is starting to get in the game more. You feel a second isn't far away.
STAT ATTACK: The Reds have scored 48 first-half goals in the league this season, two more than Manchester United have in total. Make that 49.
GOAL! Brilliant equaliser by Liverpool. After dominating possession for the last few minutes, the pressure finally told. Henderson played a delicious through ball between Cardiff's back four to Johnson who cut it back for Suarez to tap in. Simple, but oh so effective.
Good overlap by Johnson on the right, Henderson feeds him but the England right back's delivery is poor and Caulker heads it away to Mutch. Rodgers will want a quick response and at the moment he's getting it, Liverpool are now camped on the edge of the Cardiff box.
Suarez finds some space on the left hand side and goes for a shot but it's high and wide and Marshall will take a goal kick. The Reds just starting to settle a little more now, Gerrard is getting a little higher up the field.
Well how will Liverpool repsond? So far not well, it's still all Cardiff who are applying the pressure. They've not given Liverpool's back four anytime on the ball and continue to press and harry for the ball.
GOAL! Massive error by Allen, he gives the ball straight to Campbell on the edge of the area, the English forward lays it back to Mutch on the edge of the box who buries a 20 yard shot into the bottom corner past Mignolet. Who saw that coming?!
Sloppy play by Flanagan, he gives the ball straight to Mutch on the halfway line who sprints to the byline but his cut back is just in front of Campbell and Skrtel can get it away. Really positive start by the Bluebirds, you feel, while they're on top they need to score before Liverpool settle.
Good free kick floated in toward Caulker but Mignolet reaches it first and punches it out for a corner. Corner taken quickly and it falls to Théophile-Catherinebut his shot is high and wide, goal kick to Liverpool.
Great play by Campbell, he burst down the right and slipped inside of Gerrard who trippe dhim right on the edge of the Liverpool area. The Liverpool skipper already in the book.
Yellow CardSteven Gerrard
Cardiff get us underway, kicking off in their now red home strip.
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
STAT ATTACK: Only one team (Arsenal) have kept a clean sheet against Liverpool in their last 17 Premier League away trips. Still, could be worse.
So Coutinho does return to the side in place of Sterling, perhaps Rodgers is just giving his young starlet a well deserved break. Plenty of options on teh bench too for the Liverpool manager, Moses, Lucas and Serling are all capable of coming on and changing the game.
So Solskjaer has gone for two wing-backs today, he'll be hoping Fabio da Silva and Declan John can give his side some width and attacking threat out wide. Meanwhile, Frazier Campbell will stay up top on his own with former Liverpool player Craig Bellamy playing off him in the hole.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: Jones, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas, Moses, Sterling, Aspas
LIVERPOOL XI: Mignolet; Johnson, Flanagan, Agger, Skrtel; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez, Sturridge
CARDIFF SUBS: Lewis, Turner, Whittingham, Jones, Gunnarsson, Daehli, Zaha
CARDIFF XI: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, John; Fabio, Medel, Kim, Mutch, Bellamy; Campbell
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
Cardiff's back four, which has conceded 52 goals in 29 matches this season (only bottom of the table Fulham have a worse defensive record), will have to be on top form if they're to stop 43-goal pairing Suarez and Sturridge from scoring.
With Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho now back in contention following lengthy spells out with knee and hamstring injuries, Jose Enrique is Liverpool's only senior fitness concern. Rodgers could opt to name the same side that won at Old Trafford, but may consider recalling playmaker Philippe Coutinho in place of midfielder Joe Allen.
Liverpool meanwhile couldn't be coming into this match on better form. They're riding a wave of confidence at the moment after their emphatic 3-0 away win at Man Utd last week and with Suarez, Sturridge and Gerrard all on top form, it will take something special from Solskjaer's men to stop them from taking all three points this afternoon.
Despite a promising start to the top tier of English football under Malky Mackay, they've only taken seven league points since the turn of the year and will start as heavy underdogs this afternoon.
After last week's agonising last minute loss to Everton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will know how important it is for his side to pick up some points against this week's Mersey opposition. Still three points off safety after 30 matches, the Bluebirds are running out of time to rescue themselves from relegation.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Premier League as relegation threatened Cardiff host title chasing Liverpool here at the Cardiff City Stadium. My name is Greg Taylor and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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