March 9, 2014
ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH LEAGUESSunday, December 22, 2013
Suárez scores twice to put Liverpool top
Luis Suárez marked his new Liverpool contract with two goals to send his team provisionally top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Cardiff. Manchester City is just a point behind after winning 4-2 at Fulham.
LONDON — Luis Suárez celebrated his new contract by sending Liverpool to the top of the Premier League thanks to two goals and another virtuoso display in a 3-1 home win over crisis club Cardiff City yesterday.
Manchester City moved up to second despite a bizarre Vincent Kompany own goal in a 4-2 victory at lowly Fulham, while champion Manchester United, in seventh, overcame West Ham United 3-1 through Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young.
The irrepressible Suárez, who looked to be heading out of Anfield in the close season following a ban for biting an opponent, expertly volleyed in the opener before setting up Raheem Sterling for the second after a superb ball from the resurgent Jordan Henderson.
It was soon 3-0 as the 26-year-old Suárez netted his 19th league goal of the season on the stroke of halftime with a superb curling shot from the edge of the box following more Henderson magic with a back-heel.
Liverpool hammered Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 away last weekend and could have had more against Cardiff with Suárez almost completing a hat-trick when he clipped the post.
“I am happy with the new contract but I was focused on the game. We played very well in the first half,” the Uruguay striker told BT Sport television. “It’s too early to say (we can win the title). It is important we work for the next game. When we play at home we are strong.”
The easy win over sixth from bottom Cardiff, and its beleaguered coach Malky Mackay, sent Liverpool a point clear at the top with 36 from 17 games.
Arsenal (35 points), which is third, can take back first position by winning at home to fourth-placed Chelsea (33) tomorrow.
Manchester City (35 points) moved above Arsenal on goal difference after a patchy performance that underlined its problems away from home this season.
Another Yaya Touré free kick on 23 minutes and Kompany’s goal at the right end of the field put City 2-0 up at second from bottom Fulham. The home team equalized after the interval with a goal from Kieran Richardson and when Kompany sent an attempted clearance spiralling into his own net.
Jesús Navas restored City’s lead in the 78th minute and poor defending allowed James Milner to make it 4-2.
SCOTTISH LEAGUE. Celtic stretched its unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership to 16 games after the defending champion beat Hearts 2-0 thanks to goals from Kris Commons and James Forrest yesterday.
Commons scored in the 63rd minute with a powerful drive and he cleared off the line near the end before Forrest scored in stoppage time against bottom-place Hearts.
Celtic has a 10-point lead over Dundee United, which beat Ross County 1-0, and Inverness, which lost 4-2 to Aberdeen.