Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League table, albeit temporarily, as they secured a convincing 4-1 win over Cardiff City. The Reds started the game in an emphatic fashion, creating a host of chances in the final third and were ultimately rewarded when Mohamed Salah struck the opener in the tenth minute.
Sadio Mane scored a brace in the second half while Xherdan Shaqiri also chipped in with a goal to add further gloss into the scoreline.
Liverpool player ratings
Alisson (7/10): A fairly quiet afternoon for the Brazilian international, who wasn’t forced to make any saves as Cardiff attackers struggled to create anything in the final third.
Trent-Alexander Arnold (7.5/10): His low cross, early in the game, played a hand in Liverpool’s opener. TAA was relatively untroubled at the back since Cardiff lacked pace.
Dejan Lovren (7.5/10): A commendable defensive display from the Croatian international who stood up to the challenge of facing the intimidating Callum Patterson. Lovren won nine aerials duels in the game and also made six clearances.
Virgil van Dijk (7.5/10): His aerial dominance caused a few problems at the other end of the pitch with the Dutchman notably hitting the bar with a deft header in the first half. Defensively, he didn’t face a great deal of trouble from the Cardiff attackers. He was also unlucky as the ball ricocheted off him straight into the path of Patterson for Cardiff’s only goal of the game.
Alberto Moreno (7/10): Impressed in a rare start as he played ahead of Andrew Robertson who was given a breather. Moreno was defensively solid while he combined well with Sadio Mane on the left-back and his crossing was also top-notch.
Fabinho (7.5/10): His incredible tackling-prowess proved effective as Liverpool dominated the midfield throughout the course of the game. Fabinho ended up with two tackles, two clearances and one interception along with a passing accuracy of 88%. A couple of sloppy passes in the first half was a minor blip in an otherwise neat and tidy performance.
Georginio Wijnaldum (8.5/10): Fabinho’s solidity in midfield allowed Georginio Wijnaldum to become more expressive in the middle. And he impressed the fans with an energetic performance as he not only covered a lot of ground but also got into the half-spaces to breach a narrow Cardiff defence.
Adam Lallana (7/10): Played his role in the first half as he was important in Liverpool’s transitional play. However, he failed to impress as much as Wijnaldum or any of the Liverpool attackers and was a bit casual with his passing.
Roberto Firmino (7/10): Once again featured as the false nine, where he did manage to create a few chances as he kept the opposing defenders occupied. However, he failed to breach the Cardiff City defence and was often isolated in the final third. Attempted two dribbles and made one key pass before making way James Milner later in the second half.
Sadio Mane (8/10): Looked anonymous at times but showed his quality in the end with two brilliant finishes.
Mohamed Salah (9/10): By far the most effective Liverpool player in the game, Salah terrorised the Cardiff backline with his dribbles and movement. He even looked untouchable at times but most importantly, he managed to deliver the end-product which was missing in the previous few games.
Xherdan Shaqiri (7.5/10): Replaced Adam Lallana around the hour mark and was a positive influence. Shaqiri took his goal well after being set up by Salah.
James Milner (NA): Came on for Roberto Firmino in the 71st minute as Jürgen Klopp opted for an extra body in midfield
Stat courtesy: Whoscored