Anfield: Liverpool (Salah 10′, Mane 66′, 87′, Shaqiri 84′) 4-1 Cardiff City (Paterson 77′)
It was a routine victory for Klopp’s men as Liverpool defeated Cardiff City 4-1 at home this afternoon.
Cardiff never really looked like they were in the game, as Liverpool had plenty of possession throughout the contest. They had 82% of it in the first half as Cardiff were all over the place. Their constant pressing in the early minutes paid off as Salah continued his late run of fine form when he opened the scoring on the 10th minute – scoring his 4th goal this week – after a clumsy buildup play which was concluded by a deflected finish from the Egyptian.
The pressure on Cardiff continued as Virgil Van Dijk hit the bar on the 13th minute with a weak but almost well-placed header. A few minutes later, Anfield’s Egyptian King almost scored again but he was a tad slow to latch onto the loose ball. The ball was almost never in Alisson’s box as Cardiff City failed to take even a single shot against the Reds in the first half, only managing two in the whole game.
Sadio Mane scored on the 66th minute as he took a rifle of a shot from his weak foot straight into the goal to make it 2-0 in favour of his team. Cardiff looked vulnerable every time one of Liverpool’s attackers got the ball.
In spite of all this, Cardiff City played comparatively well in the second half, even scored a goal through Paterson on the 77th as Alisson failed to get a clean sheet in this match. Unfortunately, Xherdan Shaqiri came on and put this game to bed when he linked up amazingly with Mohamed Salah and dribbled past one defender before scoring with a driven finish in the bottom left corner to make it three for the Liverpool.
Shaqiri really was on form tonight, as has been the case each time he has stepped on the pitch, as he produced another fine display to give Klopp a headache of whether he should be used as a super-sub or a starter.
Fabinho looks like he will be needing a few months to really get going with this Liverpool side, as he was a bit sluggish at times, though he looked well-versed otherwise. Klopp said that before the match and looked like he is correct.
Sadio Mane scored again in the final minutes of regulation time, with a brilliant chip after receiving a wonderful pass from Mohamed Salah yet again.
Liverpool ended the game with 79% possession, completely terrorizing Cardiff’s area in both halves. When you look at the statistics of the match, they really will tell you the gist of what happened at Anfield this afternoon, as Liverpool players destroyed Cardiff City on every aspect – passes, chances created, shots on target – and most importantly, goals.
Most of the top dogs are performing well at the moment, with Liverpool leading the pack – temporarily – as they currently sit just three points above Manchester City, and just five above Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all of whom have a game in hand.
It’s going to be one hell of a season, folks.