Liverpool followed their mid-week demolition of Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champion League match with another emphatic victory over Cardiff , beating the Welsh side by four-goals-to-one in a Saturday Premier league match played at Anfield.
The home team dominated both halves of the game, enjoying majority of the ball possession and recording superior statistical figures that are usually indicative of a highly offensive side .The Reds were so dominant in the opening half that their opponent had no attempt at goal.
Mohammed Salah, who has recently experienced an improvement in form, scored Liverpool’s opening goal in the ninth minute of the game. The dashing Egyptian winger, showed good positional sense in the build-up to the goal; he latched onto a poorly cleared ball inside the opponent’s half eighteen yard box , and showed remarkable aplomb, before he smashed the ball into the net.
Salah almost added a second goal six minutes after his opener but Cardiff goalkeeper, Neil Etheridge, was able to sweep the ball away from his reach as he raced toward the ball at the edge of the Bluebird’s eighteen yard box.
In spite of the Red’s total dominance of the game in the opening half, they found it difficult to make inroads into the opponent’s heavily defended final third.
Adam Lallana, who was restored to the starting eleven for the first time this season, ran rings round Cardiff’s players with his mazy runs and it took the headed clearance of Sean Morrison to prevent the Red’s mercurial mid-fielder’s flying header from finding its target.
Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool’s lead in the sixty sixth minute after dribbling his ways into Cardiff’s eighteen yard before unleashing a powerful shoot into the net.
Momentary inattention on the part of Liverpool’s defenders allowed Calumn Paterson to score for the visiting team in the seventy sixth minute, the Bluebird’s front man was able to poke a low cross that found him inside Liverpool’s six yard box beyond goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Cardiff , emboldened by their goal, took the game to their opponent’s half but the brief resurgence soon petered out as the home team got into stride and peppered the visiting team with a sustained barrage of attack that yielded two more goals.
Before Liverpool scored their other two goals , Salah was set free to attack Cardiff’s goalpost by a team mate’s pass to but he failed in his attempt to dink the ball over Etheridge into the net in a one-on-one situation at the edge of the eighteen yard box.
Liverpool’second half substitute, Xherdan Shaqiri , scored the Reds’ third goal after receiving a pass from Salah at the edge of the eighteen yard box , the Swiss player evade his marker and spun the ball into the far corner of the goalpost.
With less than five minutes in normal time the Reds were not done yet with their goal-scoring. Mohammed Salah, who was at his devastating brilliance, fed a pass to an on-rushing Mane inside Cardiff’s eighteen yard box , and the Reds’ number ten high-lifted the ball unerringly over Etheridge head and it few into the goalpost.
This victory takes Liverpool to the summit of the league table, though Manchester City (tied on points with the Reds before this game) still have a game in hand.