MX23RW : Wednesday, October 17 23:24:15

Result: Luis Suarez scores twice in Liverpool victory

Liverpool beat Cardiff City 3-1 at Anfield, with Luis Suarez scoring twice.

Luis Suarez scored twice and assisted Raheem Sterling for another as Liverpool beat Cardiff City 3-1 at Anfield this afternoon to move to the top of the Premier League.

The home side started brightly and Sterling's vicious cross forced David Marshall into an early save before Suarez fired wide.

Suarez came close once more in the sixth minute as his effort was deflected wide of the far post.

For all of Liverpool's dominance, Cardiff continued to look a threat on the break and only a fine Simon Mignolet save prevented Craig Noone from giving his side the lead with a curling effort.

Luis Suarez of Liverpool shoots and scores during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Cardiff City at Anfield on December 21, 2013© Getty Images

Suarez then saw another effort deflected wide, but it wasn't long before he put the Reds in front. A neat interchange on the edge of the box involving Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson ended with Suarez volleying the ball home from 18 yards with Marshall stranded.

Five minutes later, neat trickery from Coutinho took him past two defenders from a corner and the Brazilian saw his low shot from a tight angle rebound back off a post, and Jon Flanagan saw his strike cleared off the line by the Cardiff goalkeeper two minutes later.

Liverpool doubled their lead four minutes before half time with an incisive counter-attack. Henderson freed Suarez, who squared the ball to Sterling, who was left with a simple finish to put his side 2-0 up.

Raheem Sterling of Liverpool slots the ball past David Marshall the Cardiff City goalkeeper to score his sides second goal during the Barclays Premier League on December 21, 2013© Getty Images

In the final minute of the half, Suarez bent a 20-yard effort into the far corner to take his tally to two and extend Liverpool's lead to three with 45 minutes played.

Coutinho dragged a 25-yard effort wide of the post after the break before Jordan Mutch reduced the deficit.

The 22-year-old peeled away at the far post to meet Peter Whittingham's deep delivery and nod the ball beyond Mignolet.

The goal acted as a wake-up call for the visitors, who began to cause problems for the home side with their set piece deliveries, with Mutch nodding over the bar at the far post.

Sterling and then Suarez almost calmed the nerves of the crowd, but the former was denied by Marshall before the Uruguyan struck the near post from a narrow angle.

Allen nodded over the bar from a corner and Marshall got down well to deny Suarez a hat-trick, but the afternoon belonged to the effervescent striker.

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Luis Suarez of Liverpool shoots and scores during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Cardiff City at Anfield on December 21, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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