Premier League
Cardiff3Liverpool6

Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool

Luis Suarez equalled Robbie Fowler's 28-goal record for a Liverpool Premier League season with a hat-trick as they kept the pressure on leaders Chelsea by seeing off Cardiff.

Cardiff twice took the lead, through Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell.

Suarez levelled after Mutch's opener and Martin Skrtel did the same after Campbell struck.

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Skrtel headed another, Daniel Sturridge and Suarez added one each, before Mutch's consolation and Suarez's third.

After twice going behind in the first half, Liverpool underlined their credentials as title contenders by remaining composed and confident against a side battling against the serious threat of relegation.

With most of their fellow strugglers also losing, Cardiff ended the day no worse off than they started at second from bottom.

Feelings among some protesting home fans also remained the same over the club's continued rebrand from blue to red under Malaysian owner Vincent Tan.

With former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers' side arriving in the Welsh capital on the back of a 3-0 win at Manchester United, the form book was heavily-weighted against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men.

The hosts took the game to Liverpool and were rewarded with Mutch's well-taken opener after former Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen gifted the Cardiff attacker possession.

Mutch's low, left-footed drive gave Simon Mignolet no chance.

Liverpool's response was swift as Suarez latched on to Glen Johnson's cross to beat David Marshall from close range.

The visitors were guilty of giving Mutch too much space in the build-up to Cardiff's second.

Campbell was equally free to gather Mutch's through ball to hit home from almost the identical spot from which Mutch had scored.

Given the gulf in league positions and winning run it was no surprise that Liverpool's confidence remained unshakeable.

And when Brazilian Philippe Coutinho's cross allowed Skrtel to add the deft scoring touch late in the opening period, Cardiff were left to discover whether their self-belief was as well-founded as Liverpool's.

That test became even more stern after Coutinho crossed following a corner for Skrtel to head home his second in the 54th minute.

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The Bluebirds were down to nine men at that point as Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Mutch were receiving treatment on the sidelines.

And when Sturridge sent through the pass that allowed Suarez to stylishly add his second, the contest was all-but over.

Johnson then found Suarez, whose pass gave Sturridge the chance to score from close range.

Mutch gave the home side late hope with his header and the announcement of five minutes of added time gave Solskjaer's side another boost.

But when substitute Wilfried Zaha hesitated under a long ball before falling to the floor, Suarez had the time and space to tease home goalkeeper Marshall before putting the finishing touch to Liverpool's impressive display with a hat-trick.

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

"We had them exactly where we wanted.

"We tested them defensively and we scored some fantastic goals, and maybe we conceded two poor goals. Liverpool didn't have a lot in the first half, chances wise.

"[Suarez] is a top, top striker. He is on the move all the time. But for long periods, I thought we dealt well with him, especially in the first half."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers:

"[Suarez's] determination, his desire, his will is at such a big level. He is a world-class player who is enjoying his football, and long may it continue.

"The mental resilience is how we've grown over the past 18 months, and that confidence to know we can get back in the game.

"You look at our imagination and creativity today. I think the crowd felt that every time we were in their half, we could score. We've got footballers, technicians, who can open up a game for us."

Visit the BBC Sport Facebook page for a gallery of the best pictures from Saturday's Premier League matches.

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Marshall
  • 35FabioBooked at 50mins
  • 42JohnSubstituted forDaehliat 65'minutes
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 27Torres RuizBooked at 33mins
  • 4Caulker
  • 18Mutch
  • 8Medel
  • 39BellamySubstituted forJonesat 70'minutes
  • 10Campbell
  • 13Kim Bo-kyungSubstituted forZahaat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Turner
  • 7Whittingham
  • 9Jones
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 29Daehli
  • 32Lewis
  • 36Zaha

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 38FlanaganSubstituted forCissokhoat 73'minutes
  • 8GerrardBooked at 2mins
  • 37SkrtelBooked at 90mins
  • 5Agger
  • 14Henderson
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forSterlingat 68'minutes
  • 7Suarez
  • 15SturridgeSubstituted forSakhoat 90+2'minutes
  • 24AllenBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 12Moses
  • 17Sakho
  • 20Cissokho
  • 21Lucas
  • 31Sterling
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
28,018

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home33%
Away67%
Shots
Home9
Away19
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 6.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 6.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 6. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Martin Skrtel following a fast break.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

Booking

Joe Allen (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).
Gary Medel (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Gary Medel with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Mamadou Sakho replaces Daniel Sturridge.

Booking

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).
Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.
Foul by Glen Johnson (Liverpool).
Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 5. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kenwyne Jones with a headed pass.
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Cala (Cardiff City).
Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Steven Gerrard with a cross following a set piece situation.
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City).
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cala (Cardiff City).
Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kenwyne Jones with a headed pass.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Liverpool 5. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luis Suarez following a fast break.
Foul by Aly Cissokho (Liverpool).
Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Aly Cissokho replaces Jon Flanagan.
Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Kenwyne Jones replaces Craig Bellamy.
Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high from a direct free kick.
Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Raheem Sterling replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Wilfried Zaha replaces Kim Bo-Kyung.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Mats Daehli replaces Declan John.
Attempt blocked. Fabio (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Craig Bellamy with a cross.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.
Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).
Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Liverpool 4. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).
Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Goal!

Goal! Cardiff City 2, Liverpool 3. Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a cross following a corner.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) because of an injury.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kévin Théophile-Catherine.
Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Fabio (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).
Foul by Luis Suarez (Liverpool).
Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.
Offside, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge tries a through ball, but Luis Suarez is caught offside.

Second Half

Second Half begins Cardiff City 2, Liverpool 2.

Half Time

First Half ends, Cardiff City 2, Liverpool 2.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea3121643969
2Liverpool3020554465
3Man City2820354963
4Arsenal3019561962
5Everton2915951354
6Tottenham301659-153
7Man Utd3015691451
8Newcastle3014412-246
9Southampton301299645
10Aston Villa299713-634
11Stoke3081012-1234
12Hull309615-533
13Norwich318815-2232
14West Ham308715-831
15Swansea307815-629
16West Brom3051312-1228
17Crystal Palace308418-2028
18Sunderland286715-1825
19Cardiff316718-3225
20Fulham317321-4024
View full Premier League table

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