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International Soccer

Suarez sends Liverpool to the top of the league

Liverpool, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Another dazzling performance from Luis Suarez helped Liverpool to a 3-1 win over Cardiff City at Anfield on Saturday, lifting the Reds to the top of the Premier League table.

Suarez scored two more goals on Saturday to give him a league-leading 19 on the season, while he also set up a goal for Raheem Sterling as the hosts built a 3-0 halftime lead.

Jordon Mutch pulled a goal back for Cardiff in the 58th minute but Liverpool's lead was never in serious danger as the team sits one point clear of both Arsenal and Manchester City.

After signing a new contract with Liverpool on Friday, Suarez opened the scoring after 25 minutes when he volleyed home a chipped ball from Jordan Henderson.

The hosts continued to press forward and both Jon Flanagan and Philippe Coutinho struck the post before Sterling made it 2-0 in the 42nd.

Henderson had a hand in the goal with a well-weighted through ball to Suarez, who drew goalkeeper David Marshall off his line before squaring the ball to Sterling for a simple finish.

Suarez then capped a brilliant first half with a classy goal that saw him collect a pass from Henderson and curl the ball around a host of defenders and inside the right post shortly before the halftime whistle.

Cardiff enjoyed a better second half but was only able to manage one goal in reply as Mutch found himself unmarked at the back post to head home Peter Whittingham's free kick.

Manchester City 4, Fulham 2

London, England - Substitutes Jesus Navas and James Milner each scored in the final 15 minutes to lift Manchester City to a 4-2 win at Fulham on Saturday, moving City into second place along with Arsenal.

The visitors appeared on their way to a comfortable afternoon when Yaya Toure scored on a fantastic free kick and Vincent Kompany doubled the lead shortly before halftime.

But Fulham battled back to level the contest with Kieran Richardson scoring after a nice counter-attack, while Kompany scored an embarrassing own goal when he sliced Sascha Riether's cross into his own net.

But the captain's blushes were spared by Navas when the former Sevilla man was released into the penalty area on the right by David Silva, allowing him to drive a low shot between the legs of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Milner killed the game off five minutes later when he latched on to a clever ball from Alvaro Negredo and beat Stekelenburg with a first-time finish.

Manchester United 3, West Ham 1

Manchester, England - Manchester United collected a fourth successive win on Saturday by topping West Ham, 3-1, at Old Trafford to move to within five points of fourth-place Chelsea.

Danny Welbeck fired United in front after 26 minutes when he drove a shot underneath West Ham goalkeeper Adrian after exchanging passes with Wayne Rooney.

Welbeck turned provider 10 minutes later when he teed up Adnan Januzaj inside the penalty area for the 18-year-old's first goal on home soil.

Substitute Ashley Young extended United's lead to 3-0 as he powered home a shot following a lay off from Rooney.

But United was unable to keep a clean sheet as Carlton Cole beat the offsides trap and then goalkeeper David De Gea nine minutes from time.

Newcastle 3, Crystal Palace 0

London, England - Newcastle was able to maintain its place in the top six on Saturday with a comfortable 3-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Yohan Cabaye put Newcastle into the lead in the 25th minute when his shot from inside the penalty area took a deflection off of Palace defender Mile Jedinak on its way past goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

Daniel Gabbidon put the home side behind by two goals when he inadvertently steered Mathieu Debuchy's right-wing cross into his own net in the 39th minute, handing the Magpies a 2-0 halftime lead.

Yoan Gouffran nearly added to that advantage when he struck the post in the second half, while Hatem Ben Arfa did increase the lead four minutes from time when he scored from the penalty spot after Shola Ameobi was brought down by Jonathan Parr inside the area.

Stoke City 2, Aston Villa 1

Stoke-on-Trent, England - Stoke City climbed into the top half of the league on Saturday after Peter Crouch scored 20 minutes from time to hand the Potters a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.

After a poor opening half, Charlie Adam brought the match to life in the 51st minute when he scored after Crouch nodded the ball down for the midfielder to smash past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Villa equalized in the 66th minute when Libor Kozak took advantage of an error from Stoke defender Erik Pieters, but Stoke snatched all three points through Crouch just four minutes later.

Geoff Cameron's low cross from the right wing managed to elude both Guzan and Villa defender Chris Herd, leaving Crouch to clean things up at the back post to move Stoke past Villa.

Sunderland 0, Norwich City 0

Sunderland, England - Sunderland was only able to come away with a point from its home match against Norwich City on Saturday, leaving the Black Cats on the bottom of the league and four points from safety following the 0-0 draw.

After bouncing Chelsea from the Capital One Cup in midweek, Sunderland was hoping to push on and improve its survival hopes with another victory.

But despite having the better of the play, Sunderland was unable to find a breakthrough, and the team finished the match with 10 men after defender Wes Brown was sent off in stoppage time.

Brown nearly gave Sunderland the lead in the second half when he headed the ball off the outside of the post, while Ki Sung-yueng also squandered a good chance by lifting a shot over the net from 20 yards with goalkeeper John Ruddy out of position.

West Bromwich 1, Hull City 1

West Bromwich, England - West Bromwich snatched a valuable point on Saturday against Hull City when Matej Vydra scored four minutes from time to help the Baggies to a 1-1 draw.

West Brom was playing its first match under caretaker manager Keith Downing following the sacking of Steve Clarke last weekend, and Downing saw his side fall behind 1-0 in the 28th minute when Danny Graham set up a shot for Jake Livermore that he lashed past goalkeeper Ben Foster.

But Downing helped to rescue his team with a pair of key substitutions as both Vydra and Zoltan Gera were brought on.

That duo combined for the equalizer in the 86th minute when Gera laid the ball off for Vydra to fire home, moving West Brom three points clear of the bottom three.

12/21 13:10:17 ET

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