Premier League
CardiffCardiff City3LiverpoolLiverpool6

Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool

By Gareth RobertsBBC Sport Wales
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge celebrate at Cardiff

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.

Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer questions player injury rule

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.

Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers explains attacking philosophy

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."

Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 5-3-2

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

Substitutes

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

Liverpool

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

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

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 12Moses
  • 17Sakho
  • 20Cissokho
  • 21Leiva
  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 6.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 3, Liverpool 6.

  3. 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.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

  5. Booking

    Joe Allen (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).

  7. Post update

    Gary Medel (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Gary Medel with a headed pass.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Mamadou Sakho replaces Daniel Sturridge.

  10. Booking

    Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

  12. Post update

    Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    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.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Glen Johnson (Liverpool).

  15. Post update

    Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. 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.

  17. Post update

    Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Cala (Cardiff City).

  19. Post update

    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.

  20. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea31216462233969
2Liverpool30205582384465
3Man City28203576274963
4Arsenal30195653341962
5Everton29159543301354
6Tottenham3016593738-153
7Man Utd30156948341451
8Newcastle30144123840-246
9Southampton3012994337645
10Aston Villa2997133238-634
11Stoke30810123244-1234
12Hull3096153237-533
13Norwich3188152648-2232
14West Ham3087153240-831
15Swansea3078154046-629
16West Brom30513123345-1228
17Crystal Palace3084181939-2028
18Sunderland2867152644-1825
19Cardiff3167182658-3225
20Fulham3173213070-4024
View full Premier League table

Top Stories