Liverpool roar past Cardiff to go top of the Premier League

Premier League
Saturday 21 December 2013 - 12:45 pm
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⚽️ Suarez25'
⚽️ Sterling42'
⚽️ Suarez45'
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Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League after a first half demolition of Cardiff City at Anfield.

Despite containing the reds for the first 25 minutes, the floodgates were eventually unlocked by Liverpool's tormentor-in-chief before he added an assist and another goal before the half time interval.

Cardiff rallied in the second half - grabbing a goal back to yet again dent LFC's hopes of a clean sheet; but this game was all about another solid Liverpool performance at home and another bagful of goals.

Missed the goals? Watch them here

There were no changes from the side that beat Spurs 5-0 away from home last week, with Sakho and Skrtel once again being the first choice centre-back pairing.

Cardiff's initial policy was one of containment and they got plenty of players behind the ball - restricting their attacks to counter-attacks and set pieces.

Craig Noone had a great chance to score for the Bluebirds but his shot was tipped away by a diving Mignolet.

Eventually Liverpool broke through.  Improving man of the moment Jordan Henderson sent in an exquisite cross for Suarez to volley in from the edge of the box.

Henderson, Suarez and Allen celebrate the reds first goal

Gif of the 1st goal

A couple of minutes before half time, Suarez led a break-away - unselfishly passing to Sterling to dispatch with ease.

There was still time for another goal in first half added time - Flanagan and Suarez combined on the left hand side of the box.  Henderson fed the ball back to the Uruguayan who sent in a beautiful curler past David Marshall.

Gif of the 3rd goal

Suarez now has 29 Premier League goals in the calendar year (not bad when he missed 11 games through suspension), 19 goals this season and 10 goals in December.

Half time and seemingly all over.

Liverpool did not play as well in the second half and Cardiff improved slightly.  They managed a consolation goal - Mutch heading in unmarked from a cross, but it never really felt like it was the start of a big comeback.

Suarez could have completed a hat-trick late on when he capitalised on a move from Sterling but smashed the ball against the post.

There were chances aplenty for both sides across the entire game but on reflection 3-1 seemed a reasonable scoreline.  Liverpool still need to improve their defensive positioning at set-pieces and  Martin Skrtel was lucky in this game not to concede a penalty with his unique approach to man marking.  There were also countless examples of LFC players being outjumped as corners and crosses came in.

However since the defeat at Hull the reds have got 4 very comprehensive wins - 3 of them at Anfield against opposition we should beat, but have struggled against in the past few seasons.

Next up for Liverpool is a trip to Man City, a side in even more devastating form at home than the reds.

It's going to be a Christmas cracker.