Liverpool see off Cardiff to go top

London, Apr 21 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 4/21/2019 12:23:16 PM IST

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-0 victory away at relegation-threatened Cardiff on Sunday.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal (57) and James Milner penalty (81) sealed a ninth-consecutive victory as they restore two-point lead over Manchester City.

Liverpool dominated the ball, but that clinical edge in front of goal evaded them, Roberto Firmino ballooning over the bar on 22 minutes after Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had combined on the edge of the area to release the Brazilian.

The pace of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing posed a real threat down Liverpool’s right but, having been left trailing in the winger’s wake, Trent Alexander-Arnold responded with his own foray forward, crossing to the near post 31 minutes when Mane deflected over from close range.

When Liverpool did find the target, Neil Etheridge was on hand in the Cardiff goal to keep the Reds at bay, racing off his line to smother Salah’s shot after he spun away from Bruno Ecuele Manga.

Liverpool maintained the pressure on the Cardiff goal after the interval, Mane whipped a fierce shot on the roof of the net on 51 minutes before Alexander-Arnold flashed a shot wide from distance, but that pressure soon told.

Wijnaldum peeled away to the edge of the area to meet Alexander-Arnold’s corner and produced a devastating finish to round off a brilliantly-executed set-piece move and hand Liverpool the lead on 57 minutes.

Jordan Henderson should have doubled Liverpool lead shortly after the hour, but the Reds captain blazed after Mane’s cutback found him unmarked six yards out.

But that miss paled into insignificance when Morrison somehow failed to find the target after Bennett’s in-swinging cross flashed through Alisson hands and found the Cardiff skipper three yards out, the ball cannoning off his back and behind for a goal kick.

And things went from bad to worse for Morrison as he hauled Salah to ground in the area, presenting Milner with the chance to seal the victory from the penalty spot with nine minutes remaining.

Match results

Everton 4 – 0 Man United

Arsenal 2 – 3 Crystal Palace

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