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Played
December 21, 2013 12:45 PM GMT
Anfield — Liverpool
Referee:‬ L. Probert‎
Attendance:‬ 44621‎
 
25′ Luis Suárez
Jordon Mutch 58′
 
45′ Luis Suárez
 
Top of the Match
Luis Alberto
Luis Alberto
Liverpool
Luis Suárez
Luis Suárez
Liverpool
Flop of the Match
Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie
Cardiff City
Peter Odemwingie
Peter Odemwingie
Cardiff City

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 their visitors

Luis Suarez Liverpool Cardiff City Premier League
getty images
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 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 their advantage.

The Uruguayan latched onto Henderson's backheel to curl a superb third past David Marshall just before half-time and, though Jordon Mutch pulled one back for the visitors after the break, the damage was done.

VIEW FROM ANFIELD
By Jonathan Birchall

The air of inevitability that met Luis Suarez's opener was only matched when the striker bagged a second, and an assist, at Anfield this afternoon.

His new deal on Friday had the Kop high in festive spirits from kick-off and the party atmosphere didn't die down despite the visitors'  brave second-half showing.

If this does prove to be Malky Mackay's final game as Cardiff City manager, onlooking owner Vincent Tan cannot question the players' devotion to their boss.

The Bluebirds battled on for him after a testing week but today, inevitably, belonged to Suarez and his team-mates.
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 visitors made just one change from their 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 hosts 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 their 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 backheel 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 visitors - 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, who were 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 hosts climbed to the top of the Premier League.



Liverpool

22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Glen Johnson
Defender
3.00
17
Mamadou Sakho
Midfielder
3.50
37
Martin Skrtel
Defender
41′
3.50
38
Jon Flanagan
Defender
55′
3.50
14
Jordan Henderson
Midfielder
25′ 45′
4.50
21
Lucas Leiva
Midfielder
3.50
24
Joe Allen
Midfielder
3.50
31
Raheem Sterling
Midfielder
42′ 72′
4.00
10
Coutinho
Midfielder
83′
3.50
7
Luis Suárez
Striker
25′ 42′ 45′
4.50

Cardiff City

3.00
1
David Marshall
Goalkeeper
2.50
3
3.00
4
3.00
6
Ben Turner
Defender
3.50
7
2.00
8
Gary Medel
Midfielder
55′
3.00
16
Craig Noone
Midfielder
2.50
17
3.50
18
Jordon Mutch
Midfielder
58′
2.00
9

Substitutes

1
Bradley Jones
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
Kolo Toure
Defender
 - 
5
 - 
34
3.00
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
 - 
6
Luis Alberto
Midfielder
 - 
9
Iago Aspas
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
32
Joe Lewis
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
Mark Hudson
Defender
 - 
42
3.00
13
Bo-Kyung Kim
Midfielder
55′
 - 
19
Don Cowie
Midfielder
 - 
29
3.00
10

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2