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Premier League

  • December 21, 2013
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 44621
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Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City: Suarez caps perfect week by sending Reds top

The Uruguayan, fresh from signing a new long-term contract at Anfield, scored two superb goals and set up Raheem Sterling as Brendan Rodgers' men overwhelmed Cardiff.

Luis Suarez celebrated his new contract by firing Liverpool to the top of the Premier League as a first-half blitz saw off Cardiff City, with the Reds taking a 3-1 win at Anfield.

Suarez volleyed in Jordan Henderson's dinked cross to put the home side ahead on 25 minutes, then unselfishly squared when put clean through for Raheem Sterling to double the advantage.

The Uruguayan latched onto Henderson's back heel to curl a superb third past David Marshall just before halftime and, though Jordon Mutch pulled one back for the visiting side after the break, the damage was done.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brendan Rodgers made no changes to the Liverpool side that beat Tottenham 5-0 on Sunday. Suarez retained the captaincy after scoring eight goals in his previous three games.

The visiting team made just one change from its 1-0 success over West Brom, with Aron Gunnarsson replacing Fraizer Campbell, who dropped to the bench.

Suarez was first to threaten with a shot that clipped David Marshall's side netting after two minutes as the home team applied early pressure.

Craig Noone had Cardiff's first effort, forcing a save from Simon Mignolet following a quick counter after 16 minutes.

However, Suarez eventually broke Cardiff's resolve when he produced a superb volleyed finish to Henderson's cross, capping off a magnificent team goal.

Liverpool came close to doubling the advantage seven minutes before the interval when John Flanagan almost turned a Glen Johnson cross past Marshall from a tight angle.

Sterling added the second with his third goal in four games, tapping Suarez's pass into an open net, before the Uruguay international again struck to put the game beyond Cardiff.

After a neat back heel from Henderson, Suarez curled an effort past Marshall and into the right-hand corner of the net for his 19th goal in 12 matches.

Following a low-key start to the second half, Mutch pulled a goal back for the visiting side - heading home unmarked from Peter Whittingham's delivery after 58 minutes.

It ended a run of 498 minutes without an away Premier League goal for Cardiff, which was much improved after the interval.

But a comeback never looked likely and Suarez was only denied a hat trick by the width of a post as the home team climbed to the top of the Premier League.

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