LONDON: Liverpool moved back to the top of the Premier League as Neil Warnock’s assessment of Cardiff’s hopes at Anfield proved accurate.
Warnock delivered a startling admission that trying to get a result on Merseyside was “virtually impossible” on the eve of the fixture, and his Bluebirds side rarely looked like proving him wrong.
Sadio Mane’s brace, plus Mohamed Salah’s strike and substitute Xherdan Shaqiri’s first goal for the club sealed a 4-1 victory which was enough to move Liverpool three points clear of Manchester City.
The only blemish for Liverpool came when Cardiff striker Callum Paterson scored a scrappy goal, dashing the Reds’ hopes of extending their run of clean sheets in the top-flight at home to 10 matches.
Paterson’s effort seemed to set up a grandstand finish but in truth Cardiff were comfortably second best, with only two attempts at goal, in stark contrast to 19 from Liverpool, who enjoyed 80 per cent possession.
Glenn Murray claimed his 100th goal for Brighton to earn a 1-0 Premier League victory over Wolves.
The 35-year-old striker, who was a doubt for the game after being knocked unconscious at Newcastle last weekend, swept home a first-time finish three minutes into the second period.
A record attendance of 30,654 was at the Amex Stadium to witness the landmark strike which came in Murray’s 231st Albion appearance and secured a third consecutive 1-0 win for the Seagulls.
The visitors were the better team on the south coast but they lacked creativity and wasted a number of decent openings as they slipped to a second consecutive defeat.
Wilfred Ndidi’s late equaliser rescued a point for Leicester against a West Ham side who battled valiantly with 10 men following a red card for captain Mark Noble.
Fabian Balbuena’s first West Ham goal looked like it might be enough for victory when he scored after half an hour. Eight minutes later Noble was sent off for a challenge on Ndidi.
Leicester laid siege to the West Ham goal thereafter and finally made the breakthrough after 89 minutes with Ndidi’s deflected strike making it 1-1.
Ndidi’s effort rescued Leicester from a third straight Premier League loss, a defeat which would have been scrutinised further following Claude Puel’s decision to drop Jamie Vardy.
Watford record back-to-back wins as Terriers’ winless run goes on
Roberto Pereyra, Gerard Deulofeu and Isaac Success fired Watford to a 3-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield to secure the Hornets’ best-ever start to a top-flight campaign.
Watford now boast 19 points from 10 games – bettering their 17 at the same stage of the 1982-83 campaign, where they finished second.
Javi Gracia’s men coasted through this clash in truth, with Huddersfield always game but ultimately outclassed at Vicarage Road.
Now winless in 10 this term, the Terriers’ were at times bystanders as their worst start to a top-flight campaign deepened still further.
Callum Wilson heaped more woe on struggling Fulham with a double at Craven Cottage as Bournemouth ran out 3-0 winners.
The Cherries striker converted an early penalty after being brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah and, after David Brooks made it 2-0 by shooting through Sergio Rico’s legs in the 72nd minute, Fulham lost Kevin McDonald to a red card.
A fantastic through ball from Ryan Fraser allowed Wilson to beat the goalkeeper at the near post, sealing a convincing win.
Newcastle’s winless start to the season was extended to 10 matches but at least they escaped with a point from a 0-0 draw at Southampton.
Rafael Benitez’s side continue to set unwanted club records for their poorest start to a campaign and they never looked likely to break their win duck on the south coast.
But they were able to pick up a third point of the season – and actually climb off the foot of the table – thanks to some dogged defending and wayward finishing from a Southampton team who are almost as poor.
Saints have now not scored in the league for over a month, yet it was not for the want of trying in a one-sided match desperately low on quality.