Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Reds down Bluebirds to become new league leaders

AFP, LONDON

West Ham United defender Guy Demel, left, blocks Manchester United defender Alexander Buttner’s shot in their Premier League match on Saturday at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.

Photo: AFP

Liverpool went top of the Premier League tables on Saturday, while Manchester City climbed to second and Manchester United continued their revival.

With previous leaders Arsenal and Chelsea to face off at the Emirates Stadium in London today, Liverpool took advantage with a 3-1 win over Cardiff City that took them a point above Arsene Wenger’s side.

Manchester City followed their lead by winning 4-2 at Fulham to pass Arsenal on goal-difference.

Meanwhile, the Devils beat West Ham United 3-1 at Old Trafford to record a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions.

At Anfield, Luis Suarez celebrated his new Liverpool contract by scoring twice against Cardiff to take his tally of league goals to 19 for the season.

The Uruguayan, who signed a new “long-term” contract on Friday, opened his account in the 25th minute when he met Jordan Henderson’s left-wing center with a controlled volley that found the bottom-left corner.

The Uruguayan teed up Raheem Sterling to tap home the second in the 42nd minute and three minutes later made it 3-0.

Jordon Mutch replied for Cardiff with a 58th-minute header from a Peter Whittingham free-kick.

The result added to 15th-placed Cardiff’s misery, as manager Malky Mackay is thought to be on the brink of losing his job after falling out with owner Vincent Tan.

However, Mackay struck a defiant tone after the game.

“I won’t be walking away. That’s the first thing. I’m proud to be the manager of Cardiff City,” he said.

Manchester City let a 2-0 lead slip at Fulham, but late goals from Jesus Navas and James Milner gave them their fifth league win in six.

Yaya Toure put City ahead in the 23rd with a fine free-kick, before Vincent Kompany stabbed home the second shortly before halftime.

Kieran Richardson reduced the arrears early in the second and Kompany inadvertently gifted Fulham an equalizer in the 70th minute when he somehow sliced Sascha Riether’s cross over recalled goalkeeper Joe Hart for an own-goal.

However, David Silva freed fellow Spaniard Navas to restore City’s advantage eight minutes later and Milner added a fourth from an Alvardo Negredo cross in the 83rd.

United moved to within five points of the UEFA Champions League places with a breezy win at home to West Ham.

Wayne Rooney returned to the United lineup after missing last week’s win at Stoke City in the League Cup with an injury and he teed up Danny Welbeck to give the hosts a 26th-minute lead.

Adnan Januzaj extended the advantage 10 minutes later with his first goal at Old Trafford, skilfully skirting James Collins, before bending home right-footed.

Ashley Young added a third in the 72nd minute with a sumptuous curler, which was again created by Rooney, before Carlton Cole replied for West Ham.

“We played well today,” Manchester United manager David Moyes told the BBC. “The job is to keep our head down and keep winning games. There is confidence among the players. We are creating a lot of opportunities right now.”

Newcastle United climbed to sixth place by winning 3-0 at third-bottom Crystal Palace through a goal from Yohan Cabaye, a Danny Gabbidon own-goal and a late Hatem Ben Arfa penalty.

Matej Vydra came off the bench to earn West Bromwich Albion a 1-1 draw at home to Hull City in their first game since Steve Clarke’s dismissal as manager, netting four minutes from time to cancel out Jake Livermore’s opener.

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