Riding High: Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

Clive Brunskill

Liverpool take care of business early thanks to Suarez and some fantastic team play, then hang on for the three points that put them top of the league...for now.

It looked like it would simply be a question of how many at halftime, but Liverpool let off the gas in the second.  It was a second half performance that won't be acceptable in the next run of matches, but for now we all just need to marvel at the football Luis Suarez is playing.

Liverpool probed early but couldn't find the back of the net.  That was until a fantastic set of touches from Allen and Henderson and a finish from Suarez broke the deadlock. They formed a triangle, the ball was played to Allen to laid it off to Henderson who calmly lofted into the air right into the path of Suarez who volleyed it home.  Liverpool continuted to probe, but it wasn't until just before the half they would score again.After a rare foray into the Liverpool end, the ball was cleared to the breaking Suarez and Sterling for a 2 on 1.  Suarez, incredibly unselfishly, laid the ball back to Sterling to had little to do after that slotting the ball home easily.  Liverpool only had to wait a few more minutes for the all important third goal. Henderson got the ball at the edge of the box and back-heeled it to Suarez who beautifully curled it home, tucked just inside the far post.  Liverpool went into the half wondering how it wasn't more, and thinking the points were in the bag.  However, the second half proved a bit more troublesome.

Liverpool had their chances, but were unable to capitalize.  The heavy touches killed a number of moves by Johnson and Sterling and Liverpool just couldn't add to their lead.  Flanagan was subbed and then the wheels fell off the wagon.  Somehow Sakho was left with two defenders on a free kick and he was unsurprisingly unable to cover both men as Mutch headed home completely wide open from about 7 yards out.  Cardiff continued to press causing concern and creating a few decent chances, but were unable to capitalize and Liverpool rode out their lead.

The match ended on a high though, watching Malky Mackay applaud the traveling supporters and the favor being returned by the Cardiff fans and nearly every Liverpool fan left.  Still no word if Vincent Tan is going to go against the will of the fans and fire Mackay, but if history is anything to judge by Cardiff do wear red now.

Liverpool's next run of matches will be rough.  They will need to show their killer instincts for the full 90 minutes.  It will be interesting to see how BR rotates the squad through the next few matches though.  This is the major advantage to not having Europa League football.  Even if he doesn't rotate them.  They should be fresh.

Some thoughts:

-Skrtel has become a massive liability back there.  His grabbing and wrestling of the men he is defending either has to stop or Liverpool will be punished eventually.  Surely managers will be mentioning that in the referee's ear before every match.

-Suarez...yeah.  Feel free to share your adjectives below.  I'm out of them.  Two goals and an assist.  Yet again, he has proven to be the signing of the summer.

-The second half let off was a bit disappointing even if some of it can be attributed to poor finishing.

-If Vincent Tan fires Mackay, he is an idiot.  You may have already jumped to that conclusion by looking at his usual attire.

-Liverpool have a rough road ahead with their next two games away at City, then Chelsea.  This will be a true test.  By the time the New Year starts we should know a lot more about this team.  Personally, I'd be happy with 3 of those 6 points.

-Top of the league, don't get to excited.  This table is tighter than Joan Rivers' face.

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