Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City – Progress Continues, Bigger Challenges Ahead

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

Brendan Rodgers guided his side to top of the Premier League as Liverpool disposed of Cardiff City with another brace from Luis Suarez and a tap in from Raheem Sterling. Jordon Mutch pulled one back for Cardiff from a set pierce but Liverpool could have added more as Suarez and Philippe Coutinho went close.

With all the pre game hype surrounding Malky Mackay and his row with Cardiff owner Vincent tan, Luis Suarez took the spotlight back by volleying Jordan Henderson’s neat chipped cross. Henderson was again involved later in the first half as his precise through ball found Suarez in stride who squared for Sterling to tap in to make it two nil.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Suarez wasn’t done and bagged his second with an amazing curling effort from twenty yards out. Henderson provided the quick thinking assist with a back heel and Suarez did the rest. Liverpool looked dominant after a shaky start against a Cardiff team looking to counter.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

The second half started with Liverpool all at sea from a set piece situation yet again. Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho contrived to mess up the marking assignments and Mutch stole in at the back post to head past Simon Mignolet in goal. Doubts persist in relation to Skrtel’s ability to defend set pieces and indeed Liverpool’s ability as a team. It is a weakness of this Liverpool side and one that should be addressed with regularity.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

With Manchester City and Chelsea upcoming, Rodgers will need to ensure little ground is given to teams that Liverpool are competing with for the top four. In Luis Suarez Liverpool possess a game winner at any time. The concerns start and end to the other end of the pitch. Would Daniel Agger and Sakho potentially be a better central pairing? Possibly so but Liverpool continue to win and its difficult to drop players when a team is winning. Skrtel wrestles at set pieces, loses sight of the ball and can also take up questionable positions at the best of times.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Daniel Agger isn’t exactly the most physically imposing player either however. With an FA Cup game upcoming perhaps this presents a good time to try out a different defensive partnership. Liverpool have taken six points from six over the course of this four game streak. By next Saturday night Liverpool supporters should have a better idea how their side compares to two of the better sides in the league. Four points from Man City and Chelsea and Liverpool could maybe start to convince even the most skeptical supporters.

LIVERPOOL

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 38 Flanagan (Kelly – 55′ )
  • 21 Lucas
  • 37 Skrtel Booked
  • 17 Sakho
  • 24 Allen
  • 14 Henderson
  • 07 Suárez
  • 31 Sterling Booked
  • 10 Coutinho (Agger – 83′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 04 Kolo Touré
  • 05 Agger
  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 34 Kelly

CARDIFF CITY

  • 01 Marshall
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 03 Taylor
  • 08 Medel (Campbell – 55′ )
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Turner
  • 16 Noone
  • 18 Mutch
  • 11 Odemwingie (Kim – 55′ )
  • 17 Gunnarsson (Cornelius – 80′ )
  • 07 Whittingham

Substitutes

  • 05 Hudson
  • 09 Cornelius
  • 10 Campbell
  • 13 Kim
  • 19 Cowie
  • 32 Lewis
  • 42 John
Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 44,621

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