Liverpool Back On Top Of The Pile In Their Play and Pray Season. But Is Their Name On Trophy? Match Highlights. Player Ratings. Comments, And Stats.
By: Marc Gingell
When your names on the trophy it’s on the trophy and no matter how slick Manchester City are nothing can be done about that!
As City, continue to cruise to victory with early goals to relax their fans, Liverpool win another way. Sometimes late, but they do it and it’s never ugly. Plus they have that special X factor known as ‘Their Name’s On The Trophy.’ Against Cardiff Sean Morrison provided that moment again in the 64th minute.
|21-04||Cardiff City Stadium||Cardiff City (18)||0-2||Liverpool (1)|
|KO:16:00||ATT: 33,082||Georginio Wijnaldum 57′|
|REF: M Atkinson||James Milner 81′ pen|
Sean Morrison – Cardiff’s Mr. Reliable!
Sean Morrison, a 28 year-old 6 feet 4 inch (1.93 m) man mountain from Plymouth, England, signed for Cardiff from Reading. The initial fee £3 million. He’s Cardiff’s captain and apart from four consecutive games he missed through injury, mid-January and early February, he’s played every minute of every game. At Brighton last Tuesday he majestically put the game to bed with an elegant header. He’s Cardiff’s Mr. Reliable.
Against Liverpool, with the score at 1-0 and the Reds struggling to put the game to bed, Joel Bennett swung over an in-swinging corner from Liverpool’s left. At the back post Morrison, in the six-yard box, shrugged off the attentions of Sadio Mané and stopped low to head home an easy chance. He couldn’t miss. He had to score. But he stopped too low and the ball harmlessly bounced off the back of his neck and out for a goal kick.
James Milner – Mr. Reliable!
Jürgen Klopp started with James Milner on the bench and when Fabino, replaced Naby Keita after 71 minutes, it left the impression that Milner wouldn’t feature. Ten minutes later Milner put the game to bed.
Fabino only lasted four minutes as he came off worse in an aerial clash with Cardiff’s substitute Kenneth Zohore who entered the action four minutes before him. Fabino looked groggy and Liverpool were not taking any chances.
Mo Salah won the penalty, his 5th of the season and only Wilfried Zaha has more with six, when he tangled with Morrison. Neil Warnock called it soft but Morrison’s arms were all over Salah and it looked like a wrestling match with the incredible hulk! Salah had to fall and he did. Milner stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Liverpool ‘s best chance of the game fell to Roberto Firmino in the 22nd minute after he’d been put through by Mané. Firmino fired high and wide. Other chances went begging and as Liverpool pressed it looked like it might be one of those days until Trent Alexander-Arnold took a corner on Liverpool ‘s right. Instead of a high ball, searching for the head of someone like Virgil van Dijk, the ball came in low and bobbling towards the penalty spot.
Georginio Wijnaldum, with 20 Premier League goals before this game and 19 at home, timed his run to perfection and fired in a controlled volley. The power gave Neil Etheridge no chance. A difficult chance and now Wijnaldum has two away goals! At first glance, it looked like Alexander-Arnold had miss hit his corner but Klopp explained the move had been discussed at half-time.
Liverpool still play and pray, they have the X Factor, but can Manchester United really beat their neighbours on Wednesday?
Cardiff: Etheridge (7), Peltier (6), Morrison (5), Manga (7), Bennett (6), Gunnarsson (6), Ralls (6), Mendez-Laing (7), Camarasa (6), Hoilett (6), Niasse (6).
Subs: Bacuna (5, Zohore (5), Murphy (n/a).
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (8), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (8), Keita (7), Mane (8), Salah (7), Firmino (6).
Subs: Milner (6), Fabinho (n/a), Gomez (n/a).
Man of the Match: Joel Matip
- Liverpool have now amassed 88 points in the league this season, their best ever total in a Premier League season; adjusting to three points for a win, they have only earned more in a top-flight campaign in 1978-79 (98) and 1987-88 (90).
- This was Cardiff City’s 10th home league defeat of the season, their most in a single season since 1994-95 in the third-tier, when they lost 12 and were relegated.
- The top six teams have won all 33 of their Premier League matches versus the current bottom three teams in the table this season. This is a top-flight record; surpassing 30 wins in such games in 1891-92, 1978-79, 1985-86, 2001-02, 2011-12 & 2013-14.
- Liverpool have now won nine consecutive matches in all competitions, their longest winning streak since April 2014 under Brendan Rodgers (also nine games) – a run which also included a victory away at Cardiff.
- Only Wilfried Zaha (six) has won more Premier League penalties this season than Liverpool forward Mo Salah (five).
- Cardiff have now lost each of their four Premier League matches against Liverpool, conceding 15 goals in all, more than they have against any other opponent in the competition.
- Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal for Liverpool was just his second to be scored away from home in the Premier League, with the other 19 all coming in home games.