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Apr 21, 2019 at 4pm UK
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Live Commentary: Cardiff City 0-2 Liverpool - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Cardiff City 0-2 Liverpool - as it happened:
Relive Liverpool's 2-0 win over Cardiff City as goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner fire the Reds back to the top of the Premier League table.
By , Editor | 6mo

Liverpool reached the 88-point mark for the first time in the Premier League era and regained top spot courtesy of a 2-0 win over Cardiff City this afternoon.

The title hopefuls were forced to be patient during a goalless first half, but Georginio Wijnaldum lashed them into the lead shortly before the hour mark.

James Milner then made sure of the points nine minutes from time when he converted a penalty after Mohamed Salah had been brought down by Sean Morrison.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Good afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's Premier League clash between Cardiff City and Liverpool!

This is a game which could have huge implications at both ends of the table, with Cardiff now three points from safety and Liverpool needing a win to regain top spot from Manchester City in a thrilling title race. Only victory will do for the visitors, but this is a potential banana skin for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Kickoff is in just five minutes, so let's have a quick look at the team news before we get started...

CARDIFF STARTING XI: Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Ecuele Manga, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Ralls; Mendez-Laing, Camarasa, Hoilett; Niasse

SUBS: Smithies, Zohore, Murphy, Reid, Bacuna, Cunningham, Harris

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane

SUBS: Mignolet, Fabinho, Milner, Gomez, Sturridge, Shaqiri, Origi

KICKOFF:  And we're off! Liverpool get us underway in sunny South Wales!
Firmino is almost in behind early as he fires an effort wide after being found by Alexander-Arnold. Interestingly Wijnaldum is playing in the deeper midfield role today, with Henderson continuing in the more attacking position which has seen him impress in recent games.
Plenty of noise from the away fans in these opening exchanges, and it is Liverpool who have dominated the ball so far. One-way traffic in the opening five minutes.
Niasse makes Cardiff's first threatening foray forward down the left flank and seems to have escaped his marker momentarily, but he takes one touch too many and runs the ball out of play.
A stoppage here as Camarasa goes down following a challenge from Keita and then stays down, despite the referee not blowing for a free kick. The ref does eventually stop play, but the midfielder is fine to continue.
Cardiff, understandably, are set up to frustrate Liverpool today. Morrison does well here as he tracks Mane's run and makes an important challenge inside the area.
SHOT!  Morrison gives Mane too much room from around 25 yards out and the Senegal international cannot turn down the shot, but he slices it high and wide of the target.
Poor from Alexander-Arnold as he first gives the ball away and then is beaten for pace by Mendez-Laing, who reaches the byline before clipping a cross to the back post. Hoilett takes it down on his chest, but Robertson gets across to make an important block.
The resulting corner is not dealt with well by Liverpool and Alisson pats it down into a dangerous area, but Keita then hacks it further clear to release Salah. Morrison once again does well to deal with the counter-attack, though.
UPDATE: There has been a goal in the other Premier League match taking place right now, and it is Crystal Palace who have taken a shock lead through Christian Benteke. The former Liverpool man ends a year-long drought to break the deadlock against Arsenal.
UPDATE: There has been a goal in the other Premier League match taking place right now, and it is Crystal Palace who have taken a shock lead through Christian Benteke. The former Liverpool man ends a year-long drought to break the deadlock against Arsenal.
We're 20 minutes into this match now and Cardiff will be delighted with how they have played so far. They have been tenacious, fired-up and look capable of making this very awkward for Liverpool today.
Liverpool will need to be patient today. Cardiff are packing men behind the ball when Liverpool are in possession and it may be a case of wearing the hosts down this afternoon.
CHANCE!  Just as I say that, Liverpool have a glorious chance to break the deadlock! Salah flicks the ball around the corner for Mane, who in turn pokes it through for Firmino. The Brazilian only has the keeper to beat and really should tuck his finish home, but he leans back and spoons it over the bar! Big, big chance!
Liverpool are really starting to take control of this game now. They are piling the pressure on the Cardiff defence now and will hope that Firmino chance is not the last they create in this half.
Liverpool are really starting to take control of this game now. They are piling the pressure on the Cardiff defence now and will hope that Firmino chance is not the last they create in this half.
Alexander-Arnold could be in trouble this afternoon. He has been beaten by Mendez-Laing on a couple of occasions already and seems to be struggling against the Cardiff man's pace.
A little better from Cardiff in the last couple of minutes as they begin to stem the tide of Liverpool pressure again, but they are struggling to make it stick up front.
Almost all of the possession and territory is in Liverpool's favour at the moment, but Cardiff as disciplined at the back and keeping their shape so far. It is a hot day in South Wales, though, and chasing the ball so much will be tiring for the hosts.
CHANCE!  Half a chance for Liverpool as Alexander-Arnold whips a low cross into the near post, where Mane darts across Morrison to get to the ball first. It is a difficult finish, though, and he lifts his effort over the bar.
A stoppage for an injury to Niasse allows the players to have a quick drinks break, which gives an idea of how hot it is out there for them today. Niasse will be fine to continue too.
CHANCE!  Brilliant from Salah as he spins away from Manga after collecting Henderson's pass and then tries to stab his finish past Etheridge at the near post. The Cardiff keeper stays big, though, and makes an important save.
Another chance for Liverpool to break as Henderson releases Salah, who only has Manga separating him from the goal. Salah tries to cut inside, but gets the ball caught under his own feet and that is enough for the Cardiff defence to get back and dispossess him.
Matip is allowed to carry the ball a long way from the edge of his own box into the Cardiff half before threading a pass through to Mane, who is flagged offside. The replay shows that it was a very tight one, though, and Mane would have been in on goal there!
Just five minutes left of the first half here in South Wales as Liverpool continue to probe for a way through. They have dominated the ball, but clear chances have been difficult to come by aside from the Firmino sitter.
Liverpool will not have expected an easy game here, and Cardiff are not giving them one. If Liverpool are to come away with the win they need, then they will have to work for it.
CHANCE!  Cardiff almost break the deadlock right at the end of the half as Matip's clearances from a corner only goes as far as Camarasa. He scuffs his effort, but it bounces for Niasse, who can't catch his shot on the turn and in the end it is easier than it might have been for Alisson to tip over.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
Cardiff and Liverpool play out a goalless first half in South Wales as the tension just begins to rise for the title-chasing visitors on what is shaping up to be a tricky afternoon for them.

Liverpool have dominated possession and territory in the opening 45 minutes, but big chances have been at a premium and Cardiff are set up to frustrate the visitors here.

The biggest chance of the half fell to Liverpool, and it was one Firmino really should have scored when Salah and Mane combined to send the Brazilian clean through on goal.

Firmino only had the keeper to beat, but he leant back and lifted his finish over the crossbar when he simply had to score.

Salah has also had a good chance of his own, spinning away from his marker smartly to leave himself with only Etheridge to beat, but the Cardiff keeper was quick off his line to thwart the Egyptian.

Salah has also had a couple of good chances to break for Liverpool, but has just kept the ball for a fraction too long or lost control of it to really hurt the Cardiff defence.

Cardiff had a clear chance of their own just before half time too, but Niasse could not connect properly with his effort on the turn when a better effort would have caused Alisson serious problems.

It was a late scare for Liverpool at the end of a half which they dominated, and they will need to be wary of those set pieces in the second half too.

KICKOFF:  Cardiff get us back underway for the second half!
Arsenal have wasted no time in levelling the scores in the second half against Crystal Palace, with Mesut Ozil making it 1-1 at the Emirates.
CHANCE!  Half a chance for Cardiff as Mendez-Laing swings a cross into the box for Morrison, who has stayed up following a long throw. It is just a little too high for the Cardiff defender, though, and he can only send a looping header onto the roof of the net.
Quite a few Liverpool players have insisted that they are not feeling the pressure of this title race, but it will be interesting to see what happens if this one is still goalless with 10 minutes remaining. The fans are already getting a bit concerned, you sense.
SHOT!  Mane has been the man of the moment lately and he tries to make the difference again here, cutting inside before curling an effort narrowly over the crossbar when going for the far corner.
Patience is the key for the visitors today, you feel. They have been right on the cusp of a breakthrough on a few occasions, and there will surely be more chances for them as Cardiff begin to tire in this heat.
SHOT!  Liverpool keep the pressure on Cardiff and win the ball back inside the opposition half again, leading to a shooting chance for Alexander-Arnold. The full-back gets plenty of power behind it, but it flashes comfortably wide.
GOAL!  PHWOAR! What a thumping strike this is from Wijnaldum to finally make the breakthrough for Liverpool!

Alexander-Arnold plays a low corner into the box for the Dutchman, who has peeled away from his marker before lashing a brilliant half-volley into the top corner, leaving the keeper no chance at all.

Salah swings a free kick into the box which is only cleared as far as Wijnaldum, who tees up Keita. The Liverpool man goes for goal, but sees his effort well blocked.
SAVE!  Cardiff look for a quick response as they break forward down the left channel before working the ball to Hoilett, who twists and turns before getting a shot away, but it is a tame one which is easy for Alisson.
CHANCE!  Big chance for Liverpool to get a second which might well have wrapped this game up! The visitors win the ball back in a good position again and eventually Mane tees up Henderson, who really should score but blazes it over the top instead!
Liverpool are looking increasingly dangerous here. They are winning the ball back high up the pitch and look more than capable of getting a second here.
CHANCE!  Having said that, Cardiff have just missed an absolute sitter to level things up! Alisson flaps at a corner and Morrison looks certain to nod the ball home into the empty net, but he somehow misses it with his head and the ball strikes the top of his back as Liverpool survive. They got away with one there!
CARDIFF SUB: Change for the hosts here as Kenneth Zohore replaces Niasse.
UPDATE: It could prove to be a huge weekend for Chelsea as, having already seen Spurs and Man Utd lose, Arsenal now trail Crystal Palace 3-1 at the Emirates! The Gunners had won 10 home league games in a row before today!
LIVERPOOL SUB: Liverpool make their first change of the afternoon as Naby Keita is replaced by Fabinho.
Concern for Fabinho straight away here as he stays down after a clash of heads, and there does seem to be worry from the medical staff and his fellow players here.
LIVERPOOL SUB: Sure enough, Fabinho was on the field for just a minute before being forced off with a head injury. On comes James Milner in his place.
Cardiff take a free kick quickly which almost catches Liverpool out, but Henderson recovers well to ensure that the hosts are limited to a corner.
CARDIFF SUB: Cardiff are now forced into a change as Ralls pulls up with a hamstring injury when chasing Mane, and Leandro Bacuna comes on in his place.
UPDATE: Game on again at the Emirates, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has pulled one back for Arsenal to make it 3-2 against Crystal Palace.
PENALTY!  Big moment in this match as Liverpool win a penalty as Salah goes down under the challenge of Morrison. The Cardiff man is grappling with Salah, and you can see why he has given it!
GOAL!  Milner makes no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way and tucking his finish right into the corner. Surely that is game over now!
It was a contentious penalty - and one Neil Warnock will no doubt have something to say about - but you can certainly see why the referee gave it. Morrison was all over Salah, who eventually went down.
CARDIFF SUB: Another change for Cardiff as Josh Murphy replaces Hoilett.
LIVERPOOL SUB: A third and final change for Liverpool sees Joe Gomez replace Alexander-Arnold.
Barring an incredible late collapse, Liverpool will be returning to the top of the table today, which leaves Manchester City needing a win in the derby against United on Wednesday. What drama!
CHANCE!  A lovely move from Liverpool sees Firmino chip the ball through to Salah, who knees his effort towards goal and forces a smart save from Etheridge.
YELLOW CARD!  Milner picks up a late yellow card for a cynical foul to prevent a Cardiff breakaway.
There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.
Back to you Manchester City. This tit-for-tat title race continues as Liverpool beat Cardiff to regain top spot once again, leaving Man City needing a win against United in the derby on Wednesday.

The Reds needed to be patient in South Wales, but ultimately goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner were enough to clinch a victory which also sees them set a new club record for highest points tally in a Premier League campaign.

Right, that is all we have time for this afternoon!

Thank you very much for joining us on this sunny Easter Sunday as Liverpool regain top spot with victory over Cardiff. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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