Suarez Hat Trick In Cardiff Win
It certainly wasn't plain sailing for Liverpool on Saturday as they conceded an early goal from Cardiff making it much more difficult for themselves. Things never seem to be simple with Brendan Rodgers' side though, the way in which Liverpool play is always calling for risk but the plus side is the Reds know that they will score more goals. It's a gloriously exciting yet dangerous way to play football, especially at this stage of the season but it worked on Saturday for Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers made only one change to the team from the Manchester United game, opting to replace Raheem Sterling with Philippe Coutinho.
Whilst on paper this game should have been a simple win for Liverpool, many fans appeared to forget that Cardiff were fighting for their lives and they would definitely get some chances on the counter attack. Unfortunately for Liverpool, these chances cropped up sooner than expected and with a less than alert defence the Reds conceded their first goal just eight minutes in.
A poor pass from Joe Allen sent the ball to Fraizer Campbell in the box, he then set up Mutch who with a composed finish put his side in front. It was a shock to say the least and whilst disappointing, as a Liverpool fan this season, you knew the game was nowhere near over yet.
On the back foot for a while Liverpool were beginning to make a few silly mistakes and were struggling to keep the ball. Social media was screaming at the likes of Allen and Henderson but it was far too early to start shouting the odds in my opinion.
At 16 minutes some good pressure from Liverpool led to an equaliser. An assist from Glen Johnson allowed for an easy Suarez tap in and the Reds were right back in the game. The fun didn't last very long though with Fraizer Campbell just nine minutes later finding himself weaving through our defence and with another good finish Cardiff had retaken the lead from a somewhat dumbstruck Liverpool side.
Once again, it was frustrating, very much so but there were still goals in this game, especially for Liverpool and whilst panic did begin to set in, we knew there was plenty of time to sort this all out.
Late in the first half Liverpool once again managed to get themselves back level. A Coutinho corner originally led to nothing but when the ball came back out to the Brazilian his resulting cross was just right for Skrtel to stick a leg out and convert Liverpool's second of the game. I went mad for this one, it's the first game I haven't been able to watch this season so I had it on five live, was going mental because I was just so glad we were back level then I realised that I'd had a quid on Skrtel anytime too, only won 8 quid like but yer know, it all helps! Haha.
Going into the second half the Reds had done well to finish the first half level with their opponents, it would have been much more of a struggle had Cardiff been in front.
Seven minutes into the second half and in an almost action replay Philippe Coutinho once again stepped up for a corner, this time a free Martin Skrtel was able to get his head on the cross and score again to put Liverpool into the lead for the first time in the game!
I love it when Skrtel celebrates because he seems to react exactly as the fans do... by going ape shit!
The momentum kept flowing for Liverpool when three minutes later they were attacking the Cardiff goal again. This time the partnership of Sturridge and Suarez was in full force with a sublime back heel from the former to the latter resulting in a lovely finish from Suarez. Now 4-2 up, the worries of the first half appeared to have melted away, the Reds were in full force now and it still felt as though there were goals left.
At 67 minutes Raheem Sterling replaced Philippe Coutinho. Whilst I did feel as though Sterling should have entered play I think it's important to highlight the fact that Coutinho got two assists in this tie, he's not always the most productive of players and can sometimes be a bit below par but he did well on Saturday.
At 74 minutes Daniel Sturridge wanted to get in on the action. Once again working with his partner Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan did all the hard work and placed a perfect ball across goal to Sturridge who tapped home his effort with ease. Now 5-2 up the travelling kop was absolutely buoyant. Chants of "we're gonna win the league, we're gonna win the league" were ringing out and everybody was well and truly back in hysteria mode.
A consolation goal for Cardiff appeared ten minutes later, there were many shouting the odds over clean sheets and goal difference but in my opinion I couldn't care less about that at this stage of the season. Our goal difference is already the second best in the league, we score bags of goals too and I don't think it's gonna come down to goal difference this year to be honest. For me all that matters is those three points! Cardiff's third was scored by Mutch after the ball was headed down by Kenwyne Jones. It was another simple finish.
Finally in stoppage time Liverpool converted their 6th of the game via Luis Suarez. A clearance from Skrtel flew all the way to the Uruguayan who was strong beating the Cardiff defender, his continued run enabled him to be one on one with the keeper, after some teasing he eventually slotted the ball home completing his hat trick and sealing Liverpool's all important three points.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received, thanks to all who replied!
Next up for Liverpool is Sunderland on Wednesday night, our game in hand is vital if we're going to keep this pressure on for the title.