CITY SPIRITED IN DEFEAT AT ANFIELD
Club News21st December
Reds win 3-1 at Anfield
City were consigned to a 3-1 defeat at home to Premier League table toppers Liverpool despite a spirited second half fightback and performance from the Bluebirds.
In the first half, the home side showed their title credentials, crashing three goals into the City net. In the second period though, Mackay’s men were resurgent scoring one goal through Jordon Mutch.
The visitors made one change from last week’s 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion with Aron Gunnarsson coming in for Frazier Campbell.
In a red hot Anfield atmosphere it was Liverpool who started the brighter but City remained resolute and blocked early shots from Luis Suarez.
The best chance of the opening stages was presented to Liverpool born, Craig Noone who marauded his way upfield before unleashing a curling left footed drive which had to be punched clear by Simon Mignolet.
From the resultant corner, Mutch escaped his marker and saw his header glance wide of the target.
Having impressed in recent weeks, Craig Noone continued his recent form and proved to be a thorn in Liverpool’s side in the opening exchanges.
After holding their own for the first 25 minutes against the in-form Reds, Liverpool took the lead through Suarez. The talismanic striker notched his 18th Premier League goal with a vicious volley that flew low beyond Marshall after a sumptuous Henderson cross.
Shortly after the half hour mark, Liverpool continued to probe Cardiff’s box and hit Marshall’s upright through Philippe Coutinho with a stinging low drive.
Cardiff’s opposition refused to relent and were close to doubling their lead after 37 minutes when Flanagan smacked the far post before the ball flirted with the goal line as Steven Caulker thumped clear.
From the following attack, Raheem Sterling then charged into Cardiff’s box but saw his shot blocked by a superb David Marshall save.
After 41 minutes, Cardiff forayed forward but were dispossessed allowing Suarez to break clear before passing to Sterling who was able to slide home and make the net bulge.
One minute before the break, Luis Suarez made it three with a delicious curling effort from outside of the box that sneaked inside Marshall’s far post.
HALF TIME: Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff City
In the second half, Cardiff were resurgent and after stifling Liverpool early on, they pulled a goal back just before the hour mark.
A beautifully floated cross landed on the head of Jordon Mutch who evaded his markers and was able to nod home, meaning the 22-year-old has scored each of Cardiff’s last three away goals in the Premier League.
Cardiff attempted a comeback with the backing of a raucous 2,900 City supporters, but Liverpool remained a threat on the counter.
With 75 minutes gone on the clock, Sterling escaped the offside trap before seeing his shot saved by Marshall who was helpless as Suarez rattled the post with the rebound.
As the 90th minute neared, Suarez had one final chance but Marshall was able to get down low and make the save.
Full time: Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Flanagan (Kelly), Skrtel, Sakho, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho (Agger), Sterling, Suarez.
Unused subs: Jones, Toure, Alberto, Aspas, Moses.
Goals: Suarez (25 and 45), Sterling (42)
Cardiff City: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker (C), Turner, Taylor; Medel (Campbell), Gunnarsson (Cornelius), Noone, Mutch, Whittingham; Odemwingie (Kim).
Unused subs: Lewis; Hudson, Cowie, John.
Goals: Mutch (58)
Attendance: 44, 621 (Anfield, Liverpool)