When you’ve got a David vs Goliath style clash such as this one, you’re always going to get a bit of intrigue from the masses. Some will choose to believe that an upset is on the cusp of taking place, whereas others will back the favourite to the hills. Today, in the end, it was the latter that came to fruition as Liverpool were able to keep their title surge alive with a win over relegation battlers Cardiff City.
Getting the job done
The expectation was that this would be a pretty difficult game for the Reds, purely because of how much pressure they’re being put under by reigning champions Manchester City right now. Pep Guardiola’s men have a game in hand over Jurgen Klopp’s side, and at this stage of the campaign, that kind of thing could prove to be pretty invaluable.
The first half was pretty uneventful for Liverpool, but it wasn’t through lack of trying. They came forward in numbers as they tried to break down a resilient Bluebirds team, but after 45 minutes, it seemed like this could just wind up being ‘one of those days’ for the visitors.
The busy schedule
As the second half begun, however, it was clear to see that the Reds were a team possessed. Georginio Wijnaldum was able to get on the end of Alexander-Arnold’s corner, and before we knew it, Liverpool had the lead. From that point on you’d think they’d go on to run riot, but that wasn’t the case, with Cardiff’s Sean Morrison squandering a great opportunity before actually conceding the penalty that sealed the result. Salah was the man who was fouled, but in the end, it was James Milner that slotted it into the back of the net.
Cardiff will now face two incredibly winnable games in their race against the drop in the form of Fulham and Crystal Palace, in which four points doesn’t seem all too unrealistic. Liverpool have a relatively simple home game against already relegated Huddersfield to deal with, but in the immediate aftermath of that, they’ll travel to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona.
Cardiff: Etheridge (6.5), Bennett (6), Manga (6.5), Morrison (6), Peltier (6.5), Gunnarsson (6), Mendez-Laing (7), Ralls (6.5), Camarasa (6), Hoilett (6.5), Niasse (6), Murphy (6), Bacuna (6), Zohore (6)
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (8), Matip (7), van Dijk (8), Robertson (7), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (8), Keita (7.5), Salah (7.5), Firmino (7), Mane (7), Milner (7), Gomez (6), Fabinho (6)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Goals: Wijnaldum, Milner
Yellow Cards: Gunnarsson, Milner
Red Cards: N/A
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