Liverpool fight past Cardiff to amass astonishing 88 points haul
Two second half goals helped Liverpool come through a tricky match in Cardiff and move two points clear at the top of the Premiership.
The Welsh club, currently in 18th position, were chasing a victory to draw level on points with 17th placed Brighton and they certainly took the game to Liverpool.
Neil Warnock’s team had the first attack as Mendez-Laing attacked Liverpool down the right-hand side but good defending from Van Dijk and co, kept Cardiff’s attack at bay.
Liverpool’s Bobby Firmino wasted a good opportunity firing over the top when through on goal after good work from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.
Trent Alexander-Arnold then provided Sadio Mane with an inviting cross, but the Senegalese could only volley the ball into the stands.
Another chance came for Liverpool as Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah swivelled and turned away from his marker only to have his effort saved by Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
The Welsh side nearly scored before half-time as a fantastic save from Alisson denied Omar Niasse’s acrobatic volley.
Jurgen Klopp’s team kept on pressing in the second half and were rewarded by a fine goal from Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutchman lashed in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner as Liverpool finally broke the deadlock as he celebrated emphatically with his team mates.
Liverpool gave the ball away carelessly but Junior Hoilet could only shoot harmlessly into the gloves of Alisson.
Jurgen Klopp’s team continued to hit Cardiff on the counter-attack as Sadio Mane teed up Jordan Henderson only for the skipper to blaze well over the crossbar. After that shocking effort and many other wasted chances in previous matches, he may consider some extra work on his shooting in the training ground.
Cardiff defender, Sean Morrison then missed a sitter as the ball somehow hit him on the back as he failed to head the corner into a near empty net. Liverpool let off the hook, and they knew it.
A clash of heads with Kenneth Zohore sadly meant that poor Fabinho had to come off early after only shortly coming on as a substitute. On came the battle hardened, James Milner to settle Liverpool down.
Sean Morrison’s pass was charged down by Bobby Firmino allowing Mohamed Salah to charge into the Cardiff penalty area only for Morrison to grapple around the Egyptian and haul him to the ground.
Cardiff and Neil Warnock may have seen it as a soft and contentious penalty, however, in my mind and also the Match of The Day 2 pundits Martin Keown and Jermaine Jenas, it was a definite penalty.
With no doubts there, James Milner did a little charge up and calmly slotted away the penalty to give Liverpool a crucial victory.
Milner’s celebration was even better, as he did the old man hobbling and holding his back and walking stick celebration to show at 33, he’s still got it. Pure class.
Having won nine consecutive matches in all competitions now, manager, Jurgen Klopp can be delighted with his team as they continue to hunt down a first Premier League title.
Wijnaldum 57, Milner 81 (P)
Competition: Premier League
Date: Sunday 21st April 2019
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Man of the Match: Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman was vintage again as he kept Porto at bay on several occasions. He even capped off his night with a finely taken set-piece header to set up a date with Barcelona!
James Spencer, Thoughts from the Stands
Hi my name is James Spencer and I am a huge Liverpool fan since I was a small boy!
Steven Gerrard was my favourite player growing up and I watched all the fantastic finals that Liverpool won under Houllier and Benitez! I also liked Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypia, Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso.
Here are our current remaining fixtures:
Friday 26th April
Liverpool 20:00 Huddersfield Town – Live On Sky
Wednesday 1st May
UEFA Champions League
Barcelona 20:00 Liverpool – Live On BT Sport
Saturday 4th May
Newcastle United 19:45 Liverpool – Live On BT Sport
Tuesday 7th May
UEFA Champions League
Liverpool 20:00 Barcelona – Live On BT Sport
Sunday 12th May
Liverpool 15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Live On Sky