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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 24 May, 2019
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 3pm.

We’ve got team news coming your way as we edge towards kick-off so do stay with us and enjoy the coverage!

And if those tweets aren’t loading for you, here are the teams in text form:

Liverpool XI vs. Cardiff: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Moreno; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Cardiff XI vs. Liverpool: Etheridge; Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett; Murphy; Camarasa, Gunnarsson, Hoilett; Reid, Paterson.

Liverpool v Cardiff City - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool fans arrive for the Premier League match at Anfield. Source: Dave Thompson

We’re under way…

It’s been a fairly uneventful start.

As expected, Liverpool are dominating possession with Cardiff putting bodies behind the ball.

The hosts have yet to create a clear-cut opening.

8Mins

Morrison puts the ball out of play for a corner under pressure from the onrushing Salah. The subsequent set piece is cleared relatively comfortably.

Liverpool are starting to up the intensity in their play a bit now.

11Mins

A cross is only half-cleared by the Cardiff defence.

Fabinho and Mané then both see close-range shots blocked desperately by Bamba, but the ball deflects into the path of Salah, who makes no mistake to slot the ball into the net for his fourth goal in three games and 51st in total for Liverpool.

14Mins

Liverpool are hungry for more. Salah produces a superb cross to find Van Dijk, whose header comes back off the post.

It’s noticeable the sheer numbers that the Reds are getting into the Cardiff box, with even centre-backs not immune from frequently venturing forward.

19Mins

Another big scare for Cardiff.

Etheridge has to come out quickly to stop Salah getting a shot on goal, before the Egyptian goes down in the box with Morrison marking him closely, but the official ignores claims for a penalty.

26Mins

Liverpool continue to probe but Cardiff have steadied the ship having looked vulnerable after conceding the first goal.

As I type, Alexander-Arnold drags a shot wide.

Already though, it feels like a case of damage limitation for Cardiff — it’s hard to see them getting anything from this game given how they’ve started it.

32Mins

Very occasionally in this first half, Cardiff have launched promising counter-attacks.

However, any time they have gotten close to Liverpool’s box, the attackers’ poor decision-making on the ball at key moments has let them down.

39Mins

A Bamba free kick is hammered upfield, but it eludes the head of Morrison.

You get the sense a set piece will be Cardiff’s best chance of a goal today.

43Mins

Firmino takes a shot from the edge of the area, but he curls it well over.

Cardiff have looked increasingly solid at the back since the goal, though you wonder is this improvement also due to Liverpool taking their foot off the pedal to a degree.

45Mins

There will be one minute of first-half stoppage time…

46Mins

Liverpool almost score on the stroke of half-time.

Moreno makes a surging run down the left and crosses for Lallana, whose header is cleared off the line by Morrison.

45Mins

So that’s that as far as the first half is concerned.

Predictably, Liverpool looked far the superior team.

The Reds played most of the football in the opening 45, with Salah — who is looking increasingly sharp as the season progresses — opening the scoring with an easy finish for his 51st Liverpool goal in 66 games.

Cardiff have seldom seriously threatened, though despite a few nervy moments for the visitors, particularly in the minutes after the goal, they have defended well for the most part.

Liverpool were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal slightly as the half developed and were a tad over intricate with a number of their attacks.

However, it’s hard to see how the Welsh team can get back into this game, given how little of the ball they are seeing, with a set piece or a defensive error from the Reds probably representing their best outlets for an unlikely goal.

46Mins

The second half has begun…

45Mins

A promising attack by Liverpool encompassing good work by Lallana and Mane ends when Wijnaldum sloppily overhits a through pass.

They just haven’t been clinical enough in attacking areas to blow away Cardiff — or not yet, anyway.

53Mins

Cardiff have the ball in the net, but it’s flagged for offside.

Replays highlight that it is the correct decision, as Morrison ran in a bit too early as the free kick towards his head was lofted into the box.

57Mins

Liverpool v Cardiff City - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool's Fabinho (right) and Cardiff City's Victor Camarasa battle for the ball. Source: Dave Thompson

61Mins

There are appeals for a penalty, as Moreno’s cross comes off Hoilett’s arm, but the referee ignores these claims.

It would have been extremely harsh to give it — the two players were so close together that it was surely ball-to-hand.

63Mins

Liverpool make a change.

Lallana comes off and Shaqiri — who was arguably the best player on the pitch during the Reds’ midweek Champions League win over Red Star — is introduced.

67Mins

That’s game over now surely.

After some patient build-up play, the ball breaks nicely for Mane on the edge of the area.

And the Senegal international produces an unstoppable shot low into the corner of the net.

70Mins

Liverpool v Cardiff City - Premier League - Anfield Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock during the Premier League match at Anfield. Source: Dave Thompson

71Mins

With the game all but won, Liverpool make a change with the aim of shoring up their midfield.

Firmino is replaced by James Milner.

73Mins

It’s Cardiff’s turn to make an alteration.

Loic Damour is on for Gunnarsson.

75Mins

And the Bluebirds also take off Josh Murphy for Kadeem Harris.

Murphy took a knock a few minutes ago and was not moving freely, so it’s no surprise to see him exit the action.

79Mins

So Liverpool won’t be getting a 10th consecutive clean sheet at Anfield.

Hoilett’s low cross deflects off Van Dijk and Paterson steals in at the near post to slot the ball home opportunistically.

They couldn’t, could they?

81Mins

Incredibly, that goal is Cardiff’s first attempt on goal, on or off target.

Liverpool, by contrast, have had 13 attempts, with three on target.

81Mins

82Mins

Cardiff make another change.

Bobby Reid is replaced by 24-year-old Danish striker Kenneth Zohorè.

90Mins

That’s three points for Liverpool confirmed, as they score twice in quick succession.

For the first, Salah plays a clever pass across the area with the outside of his foot.

The substitute Shaqiri controls the ball beautifully, creates space by turning away from the defender, and finishing clinically from just inside the box.

Moments later, Salah is key again, as he plays a superbly weighted pass for the onrushing Mane, who calmly lifts the ball over Etheridge for his second and Liverpool’s fourth of the afternoon.

It’s as if Cardiff angered Liverpool by scoring against them.

92Mins

Salah audaciously tries to lob the goalkeeper from inside his own half. The Egyptian’s effort is well off target, but the fact that he tried that is a sign of his confidence at the moment.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

So overall, a well-deserved comprehensive victory for Liverpool.

Cardiff threatened to secure an unlikely point thanks to Paterson’s late goal, but in the end, Jurgen Klopp’s side had far too much quality for their opponents.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are improving in recent weeks, showing the kind of formidable form that they frequently showed last season and which should have the Reds’ rivals worried.

The win means the Anfield club climb to the summit of the Premier League, though Man City will reclaim top spot if they overcome Spurs at Wembley on Monday night.

Liverpool v Cardiff City - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool's Sadio Mane scores his side's fourth goal of the game. Source: Dave Thompson

Right, that’s all from me for now. Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report of the game here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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