Premier League - Suarez hits hat-trick as Liverpool roar past Cardiff

Premier League, Cardiff City Stadium - Cardiff City 3 (Mutch 9, 88, Campbell 25) Liverpool 6 (Suarez 16, 60, 90+6, Skrtel 41, 54, Sturridge 75)

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Premier League - Suarez hits hat-trick as Liverpool roar past Cardiff
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Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge celebrate a Liverpool goal against Cardiff City (Reuters)

Liverpool twice came from behind before roaring to a 6-3 win at Cardiff City to keep their Premier League title challenge on track.

A hat-trick from Luis Suarez and two from Martin Skrtel and another from Daniel Sturridge saw them slice through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's relegation candidates.

Suarez completed his hat-trick with virtually the final kick of the game. Between them, Suarez and Sturridge's 47 Premier League goals were one more than Manchester United had mustered all season prior to their Saturday evening game at West Ham - a stat that quickly did the rounds on social media, and no doubt helped inspire the Red Devils' fast start at West Ham to go 2-0 up in half an hour.

First-half strikes from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell had given hope to the home fans, who waved blue scarves en masse to protest against the club's ownership.

But they could not stem the tide of pacy, technical Liverpool attacks, and once Suarez and Sturridge hit their stride victory was assured despite defensive frailties that allowed Mutch to score his second late on.

Brendan Rodgers' side remain four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand. Manchester City are a further two points adrift with two in hand on Liverpool and three on Chelsea.

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KEY MOMENTS

9’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 1-0 LIVERPOOL - Loose ball from Allen is picked up by Mutch who drives into the penalty area and hits a low hard shot into the bottom corner.

16’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 1-1 LIVERPOOL – Henderson slides in Johnson inside the defender. He gets to the byline and cuts back to Suarez who can’t miss from six yards out.

25’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 2-1 LIVERPOOL – Campbell picks it up and drives inside Agger into the penalty area before calming himself and placing it into the back of the net.

41’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 2-2 LIVERPOOL – Skrtel with a near-post dart to get his toe in ahead of Cala and poke the ball home from a whipped Coutinho cross.

54’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 2-3 LIVERPOOL – The Slovakian drifts to the near post where he meets the delivery with a glancing header into the opposite corner.

60’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 2-4 LIVERPOOL – Sturridge makes the best of a poor touch by the defender and back-heels to Suarez who advances and smashes the ball home.

75’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 2-5 LIVERPOOL – The England striker gets in on the act as he bursts into the box where Suarez has just fed the ball and finishes from close range.

88’ – GOAL: CARDIFF 3-5 LIVERPOOL – Kenwyne Jones gets up at the far post and nods it back to Mutch who in turn heads into the corner to give Cardiff a glimmer of hope.

90+6 – GOAL: CARDIFF 3-6 LIVERPOOL – Suarez completes his hat-trick as he outmuscles Juan Cala and bears down on goal before slotting past the onrushing goalkeeper.

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KEY STATS

Luis Suarez is the first Liverpool striker since Robbie Fowler to score over 25 Premier League goals in a season. He is now on 28 with eight games left to play.

The Uruguayan has scored his third Premier League hat-trick of the season and his fourth away from home since joining the Premier League. Only Michael Owen has more (five.)

Jordan Mutch has scored twice in a match for the first time in his career. His two goals today take his tally to six which is his highest ever scoring campaign.

This is the first time since 1962 that Cardiff have conceded five goals in a top-flight match. This is also the first time Cardiff have lost at home to Liverpool since 1958.

TALKING POINT

They may be frail at the back but can anyone stop Liverpool scoring their way to the title? Suarez and Sturridge look unplayable at the moment and the goals just keep coming for the pair. They’ve now got 48 between them this season and it shows no sign of letting up as we come in to the business end of the season.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Luis Suarez – The Uruguayan was everywhere for Liverpool in attack. It wasn’t just his hattrick but his all round play and creativity caused Cardiff problems all day long. He even had time to lay a goal on for his strike partner.

PLAYER RATINGS

Cardiff: Marshall 5; Fabio , Theophile-Catherine 6, Caulker 6, Cala 5, John 5; Medel 6, Kim 5, Mutch 7; Bellamy 6, Campbell 7. Subs: Jones 6, Daehli 6, Zaha 6.

Liverpool: Mignolet 5, Johnson 6, Flanagan 6, Agger 6, Skrtel 8, Gerrard 6, Allen 6, Henderson 7, Coutinho 7, Suarez 9, Sturridge 7. Subs: Sakho n/a, Cissokho 6, Sterling 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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