Mar 22, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
CardiffCardiff City
Mutch (9', 88'), Campbell (25')
Cala (33'), da Silva (50')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Suarez (16', 60', 90'), Skrtel (41', 53'), Sturridge (75')
Gerrard (2'), Skrtel (90'), Allen (90')

Live Commentary: Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool - as it happened

Find out how Liverpool overcame Cardiff City in a high scoring clash in Wales with Sports Mole's text updates.

Cardiff City played host to Liverpool today with both sides in need of the three points for very different reasons.

The home side took the lead twice during the first half through Jordan Mutch and Fraizer Campbell, but they were pegged back on both occasions by Luis Suarez and Martin Skrtel.

Suarez went on to complete his hat-trick after the restart as Liverpool took control of proceedings, while Skrtel and Daniel Sturridge also weighed in further goals. There was also time for Mutch to claim his second and Cardiff's third of the afternoon.

You can find out how the match unfolded with our minute-by-minute updates below.

2.02pmAfternoon all. So, after some entertaining Champions League action during the week, the Premier League has returned. Here, we will be covering a vital clash between Cardiff City and Liverpool, both of whom desperately need the three points.

2.04pmBefore we go any further, the teams news from the Cardiff City Stadium has just been released. Let's start with the visitors...

2.05pmLIVERPOOL XI: Mignolet; Johnson, Flanagan, Agger, Skrtel; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez, Sturridge

2.06pmLIVERPOOL SUBS: Jones, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas, Moses, Sterling, Aspas

2.08pmIt's another relatively settled starting lineup from Brendan Rodgers, who has made just one change to the side that rolled over Manchester United last weekend. That comes in the form of Philippe Coutinho - the Brazilian has taken the place of Raheem Sterling. Elsewhere, Joe Allen has kept his place in the midfield, while Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez continue their partnership up front.

2.09pmAnd now for hosting Cardiff...

2.10pmCARDIFF XI: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Cala, John; Fabio, Medel, Kim, Mutch, Bellamy; Campbell

2.11pmCARDIFF SUBS: Lewis, Turner, Whittingham, Jones, Gunnarsson, Daehli, Zaha

2.15pmIt looks like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone for two wing-backs today, with Fabio da Silva and Declan John giving those roles on either flank. Meanwhile, Frazier Campbell will continue as a lone striker, with former Liverpool attacker Craig Bellamy offering the support from an advanced role.

2.20pmSo, why is this game so big then? Let's look at it from a Cardiff point of view first of all. At this moment in time, they are second from bottom and three points from safety. With eight games left to play, they need to start putting wins on the board, particularly from the home encounters.

2.24pmAs for Liverpool, they cannot afford any slip ups if they are to challenge Chelsea for the title. The Blues are currently 6-0 up on Arsenal, which has opened up a seven-point advantage over the Reds. Rodgers's side have two games in hand, including this one, though. If they fail to collect maximum points today, it will severely hamper their chances of ending a 24-year wait for the league title.

2.27pmStaying with Liverpool, here's a peak inside their dressing room:

2.31pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS: So, prior to the meeting earlier this campaign (which ended in a 3-1 win for Liverpool), these two teams had not met in the league since way back in 1959. During that decade, Cardiff actually went on a five-match winning run against the Merseysiders, including a 6-1 victory. In total, these sides have met 32 times, with Liverpool winning 18 and Cardiff coming out on top on 11 occasions.

2.35pmSpeaking about the threat that his side will face, Rodgers believes that they may be bombarded with high balls into the area: "They'll certainly be an aerial threat, particularly from set pieces. Steven Caulker is a young player I know very well. He's their captain, I had him at Swansea with me for a year and he's fantastic in the air; he's got a great leap, he's very powerful and strong, so we'll have to pay attention to that [statistic].

"Preparations haven't changed. We're obviously coming into the game on the back of a very good victory at Old Trafford, but our work this week has been about focusing on Cardiff."

2.31pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS: Before the clash earlier in the season (which ended a in a 3-1 win for Liverpool), these two sides had not met in the league since 1959. During that decade, Cardiff actually went on a five-match winning run against the Merseysiders. In total, of the 32 meetings between the two sides, Liverpool have won 18, with Cardiff coming out on top on 11 occasions.

2.35pmSpeaking about the threat that his side will face, Rodgers believes that they may be bombarded with high balls into the area:

"They'll certainly be an aerial threat, particularly from set pieces. Steven Caulker is a young player I know very well. He's their captain, I had him at Swansea with me for a year and he's fantastic in the air; he's got a great leap, he's very powerful and strong, so we'll have to pay attention to that [statistic]."

2.39pmMeanwhile, here is what his opposite number Solskjaer has had to say about this fixture: "We know what we have to do and what we're up against. Liverpool think that they can win the Premier League, but we focus on ourselves. We've been building and improving over the last few weeks, but we need points."

2.44pmIf either side are going to win today, it's fair to assume that one of these two will have played a key role. Here is how Campbell and Sturridge shape up against each other:

2.47pmLooking at those two, one thing that will be odd today is the fact that Liverpool will be forced to change from their usual red strip, because the hosts now controversially play in that colour. Some Cardiff fans have still not accepted the change, which is understandable.

2.51pmPREDICTION: So, in a game that both sides need to win, who will prevail? The league table would suggest that it will be Liverpool and when you consider their recent form, it's hard to look beyond them. Despite losing last week, Cardiff played well at Everton and they will need to produce a similar type of performance if they are claim anything. Let's go for a routine 2-0 victory for the visitors, with Suarez and Sturridge helping themselves to a goal apiece.

2.55pmRight, the players have filtered into the tunnel and are now making their way out on to the pitch. There's a decent atmosphere inside the Cardiff City Stadium, which will hopefully lift the players to put on a good show. Not long now until we are off and running.

1 minKICKOFF! Hosting Cardiff, attacking from left to right during the first half, get this very important Premier League fixture underway in Wales.

2 minBOOKING! Very positive start from Cardiff and Campbell as he picks the ball up on the halfway line and drives forward. He cuts inside Gerrard from the right flank, but is then tripped up by the Liverpool skipper, who goes to ground. It may be early, but must to Gerrard's disgust, referee Neil Swarbrick brandishes an early yellow card.

2 minBOOKING! Very positive start from Cardiff and Campbell as he picks the ball up on the halfway line and drives forward. He cuts inside Gerrard from the right flank, but is then tripped up by the Liverpool skipper, who goes to ground. It may be early, but must to Gerrard's disgust, referee Neil Swarbrick brandishes an early yellow card.

4 minCHANCE! Theophile-Catherine is not known for his goalscoring credentials and he showed why just now. A deep corner is sent back into the box by Campbell, but the Cardiff defender is unable to keep his shot down as the ball flies well over the crossbar. Nevertheless, it's been a bright start by the home team.


9 minCardiff lead and you've got to say that they fully deserve it. Sloppy play from Liverpool inside their own half gifts the ball to Campbell, who in turn feeds Mutch on the edge of the area. Gerrard tries to get back at him, but before he can, the Cardiff midfielder drills a low shot beyond Simon Mignolet, who was unsighted. The Cardiff City Stadium erupts - what a big goal that could turn out to be, for both clubs!

13 minThere has been very little in the way of a response from Liverpool. If anything, it's Cardiff that have been the more threatening since the goal. Moments ago Bellamy was freed down the left flank, but his cross into the area was weak and the away side cleared with ease.

16 minLiverpool are really struggling to contend with Mutch right now. He just robbed Suarez of possession and with Gerrard trailing in his wake, he cut inside and went for goal from 20 yards out. It was by no means a clean contact and Mignolet claimed with ease, but it's a sign that Cardiff are keen to grab a second goal before too long.


17 minAnd all of a sudden, Liverpool are level. The killer pass comes from Henderson, who slots the ball behind John for an advancing Glen Johnson on the right side of the penalty area. Having assessed his options, the Liverpool full-back squares for Suarez, who was never going to pass up the opportunity to roll in his 26th goal of a prolific season. Game on.

21 minLiverpool look a much different team since the Suarez equaliser. There is much more conviction about their passing and Cardiff are now on the back-foot, often resorting to just hacking the ball away from danger.

24 minThe first sign of the Suarez/Sturridge partnership as the latter of the duo crosses for the former, but the ball is slightly behind the Uruguayan and Cardiff are able to clear. A lot of the problems that Liverpool are causing Cardiff are coming from the flanks. If that continues into the second half, Rodgers may well consider bringing on Sterling.


25 minBut when you defend like Liverpool have done, you can have all the domination that you like, you're always likely to concede up the other end. There is far too much space between Flanagan and Agger, which Campbell exploits. Unmarked inside the area, he jinks away from Agger, before showing great composure to curl the ball beyond the reach of a diving Mignolet. Has a former Manchester United striker cost Liverpool dearly in the title race?

29 minGerrard can count himself very lucky that he's still on the pitch. Having been booked earlier, he just brought down John on the left wing. Most referees would have issued a second yellow card, but today's official opted against it. That would have been a case of going from bad to worse for Liverpool had they lost their skipper's services.

32 minFlanagan is really struggling to cope at left-back today. The latest to benefit from his poor showing is Cardiff's Fabio, as he cuts inside far too easily. His shot is goalbound, but Martin Skrtel bravely throws his head in the way to block. In fairness to Flanagan, it's not all his fault because he's getting very little protection from Coutinho or Allen.

33 minBOOKING! It's a caution for Cardiff defender Theophile-Catherine, who talks his way into the referee's notebook. He was clearly unhappy with the decision to award Liverpool a foul, but no amount of complaining was going to change his mind!

36 min

38 minSAVE! It could have been an uncomfortable moment for Cardiff as Sturridge raided into the area and saw his shot take a big deflection. However, home goalkeeper David Marshall was able to rearrange his body in time to hold the ball at the first attempt.

40 minThat's one that Henderson will not want to see again. He's picked out with a raking lofted pass by Gerrard. Rather than control the ball, he attempts an instant volleyed cross to Suarez, who is waiting unmarked inside the area. The England midfielder gets it all wrong, though, as the ball drifts behind the goal, much to the delight of the home supporters.


41 minWhat an entertaining first half we've had here as Liverpool hit back for the second time. Coutinho is the provider, crossing from the right into the penalty area. It appears that Juan Cala is the favourite to clear, but Skrtel shows much more determination than his opposite number and is able to prod the ball in from six yards out.

45 minThere will be two minutes of stoppage time at the end of this first half.

45+2 minA smart interchange from Sturridge and Suarez frees the latter, but Marshall is alert enough to race off his line and block the danger. That should be the last action of the half.


3.49pmThere goes the whistle for the break and it must be said that these two teams have served up a very watchable opening 45 minutes of Premier League football at the Cardiff City Stadium.

3.51pmHere is how Steve Claridge, talking to BBC Sport, saw that first half: "The way that Liverpool play is amazing - they get forward and look really dangerous but then the way they leave themselves open defensively is extraordinary at times. It lets the opposition to join in and let them play. They are really vulnerable when they don't have the ball on occasions."

3.54pmWhere Cardiff are concerned, they've defended well, but on the two occasions that they've switched off for just a couple of seconds, Liverpool have pounced. Solskjaer will be pleased with what he has seen from his side in an attacking sense - particularly from Campbell and Mutch - but his defence must concentrate for the entire second half if they are to stand any chance of coming out of this with at least a share of the spoils.

3.56pmAs for Liverpool, here's a statistic for you:

3.59pmIn terms of the performance, it's pretty much summed up Liverpool's season to date. They may not have been at their fluent best, but they've still been very dangerous going forward. It's up the other end that they have caused their own problems. As a unit they've not defended well enough and that may well prove to be very costly during the closing stages of the season.

46 minRESTART! Visiting Liverpool get the second half at the Cardiff City Stadium underway.

49 minAn early corner for Cardiff, but Bellamy's delivery is poor and Liverpool clear with relative ease. It's been a slow start to the half by the visitors.

51 minFirst moment of controversy this afternoon involving Suarez as he goes to ground inside the area following a tussle with Theophile-Catherine. The Liverpool striker wants a penalty, but he's disgusted to learn that the referee has infact awarded a foul against him. To be honest, replays show that it was barely a foul either way.


54 minSolskjaer will be fuming with his defenders because they've switched off yet again. It's a corner form Coutinho, which is whipped in with great pace towards the near post. It's met by an advancing Skrtel, who is unmarked and therefore has the time to guide a header into the far corner of Marshall's net. Liverpool lead for the first time and Skrtel is on a hat-trick - what a match this is turning out to be! Can Cardiff respond?

59 minFor the first time this afternoon, Liverpool are stroking the ball around the pitch with some real confidence. As you'd expect, Gerrard is at the centre of it, although because he's dropped back in between the two centre-backs, the possession is being kept in an area of the pitch that won't hurt Cardiff.


60 minChelsea threw down the gauntlet at lunchtime and after a shaky start here, Liverpool are responding in style. Johnson's drilled cross from the right is controlled by Sturridge, who then plays a blind back-heel across the face of goal. The Cardiff defence remains static, but that man Suarez is alive to the loose ball and he fires powerfully into the bottom corner from eight yards out. It's a long way back for Cardiff now.

64 minCardiff immediately push forward but after Caulker sees his initial headed effort blocked, his attempted cross from the byline crashes into the side netting. The hosts need to get a goal back quickly.

66 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Two changes for Cardiff as Daehli and Zaha enter the action at the expense of Kim and John. To be fair to Solskjaer, those are attacking alterations, so he's at least trying to find a route back into this game.

69 minSUBSTITUTION: And now it's Liverpool's turn to make a change, with Sterling coming on to replace Coutinho. His pace could well prove to be useful as Cardiff push forward in search of goals.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: It's changes galore right now! The final switch for Cardiff sees Bellamy go off to applause from all four corners of the ground. The Liverpool fans still have a lot of respect for their former player, who has been replaced by Kenwyne Jones.

74 minSUBSTITUTION: The momentum really has died from this encounter because of all the alterations that have been made in such a short space of time. Flanagan has trudged off to be replaced by Aly Cissokho. His first contribution saw the ball roll under his foot and out for a Cardiff throw - not the best start from the full-back!


75 minOnce again, Cardiff have shot themselves in the foot. Johnson launches a ball towards Suarez, which Caulker should cut out, but the centre-back fails to do so. From there, the Liverpool striker drills in a cross for his strike partner Sturridge, who was never ever going to miss from six yards out. That's his 22nd goal of the season and sparks a rendition of 'we're going to win the league' from the travelling fans. They've still got some work to do, but they are in with a real chance it has to be said.

80 minNot that Liverpool will care one jot, but that fifth goal has knocked the stuffing out of this game. It's descended into a bit of a training match, with Cardiff looking desperate not to concede a sixth goal.

85 minSuarez goes in search of his hat-trick, but having collected a cross from Sterling, he loses his balance and although he gets back to his feet, the chance is quickly snuffed out by the home defence.


88 minIt may be all too late for Cardiff, but that is still a very good goal. Jones shows great awareness to nod the ball into Mutch's path and the midfielder does well to power a header from a standing position beyond the reach of a diving Mignolet. More slack defending from Liverpool, but it's unlikely to change the outcome.

90 minThere will be five minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match - Cardiff are piling on the pressure.

90+3 minSUBSTITUTION: A late change for the visitors as Sturridge walks off (much to the anger of the home fans) and is replaced by the fit-again Sakho.


90+5 minWith Cardiff pushing forward, Suarez latches on to a long punt forward and out-muscles Cala. After that, he's left with just Marshall to beat and he does so with ease. That's the hat-trick!


4.56pmThere goes the final whistle and it's another win for Liverpool - their sixth in succession. They are not giving up their pursuit of Chelsea, that's for sure. As for Cardiff, next up for them are West Brom and Crystal Palace - they are now huge clashes.

4.57pmThat's all we have time for from the Cardiff City Stadium. Thanks for joining us this evening and until next time, goodbye.

Robin van Persie leaves the pitch after Manchester United defeat Arsenal 1-0 on November 10, 2013.
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