Luis Suarez added another two goals to his tally to help send Liverpool top of the table after adding to the woes of Cardiff City fans at Anfield
• Stuart James: Malky Mackay clings on but sacking looks a formality
• David Conn: Owners wreak havoc while football stands silent
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Referee Lee probert draws the match to an end and the win for Liverpool sends them top of the Premier League table, where they will remain until Monday night, where they will remain until Monday night at least. Should Arsenal fail to beat Chelsea on Monday night, Liverpool will be top of the table at Christmas.
90+4 min: Liverpool win a corner, but nothing comes of it. Cardiff clear.
90+2 min: We're into the second of four minutes of added time. Mamadou Sakho stretches every sinew of his burly frame in an effort to poke the ball past David Marshall from the edge of the six-yard box, but the cross from the left is this much too far ahead of him.
90 min: Hats off to Cardiff City's travelling support, who are outsinging their Liverpool counterparts and continue to bawl raucously in support of their manager, Maly Mackay.
89 min: Jordan Mutch gifts possession to Liverpool and the ball's pumped forward between two centre backs for Suarez to chase. His low diagonal effort is blocked by David Marshall.
88 min: Cardiff's valiant attempt to regain a decent foothold in the game seems to be at an end. Liverpool try to play down the clock by depriving them of possession and their jaded opponents appear to have accepted that the jig is up.
85 min: Craig Noone sends an excellent cross in from the right and, with his shirt being held again, Steven Caulker manages to leap high enough to flick a header wide of the back post.
84 min: Daniel Agger fails to deal with a long, aimless pass from deep very well and puts the ball ot for a corner. Whittingham sends in another decent cross, but there's nobody on hand to thump the ball goalwards.
83 min: Liverpool substitution: Philippe Coutinho off, Daniel Agger on to counter-act the threat of the burly Cardiff City replacement Cornelius, an £8m acquisition from FC Cpoenhagen.
82 min:Luis Suarez tries to replicate his second goal by curling the ball into the top right-hand corner from the left side of the penalty area. He doesn't get enough curl on it and the ball floats wide.
80 min: Cardiff susbtitution: Gunnarsson off, Andreas Cornelius.
79 min: With Cardiff probing for an opening on the edge of the final third, a rogue pass from Aron Gunarsson gifts the ball to Luis Suarez and Liverpool set off on a counter-attack. It comes to naught, when Jordan Henderson shoots into the side-netting.
77 min: Liverpool corner, which Philippe Coutinho takes. Joe Allen gets a free header, but sends his effort over the ball.
74 min: The ball's played through the centre from the back and Andrew Taylor tries and fails to play Raheem Sterling offside. The winger sprints after the ball and goes down under a challenge from David Marshall, before he can shoot. The ball breaks to Suarez, who shoots from a tight angle. His effort hits the post.
72 min: Raherem Sterling gets booked and Cardiff win a free-kick, from which nothing comes. They could have had five or six penalties by now, as every time Pete Whittingham sends the ball into the Liverpool penalty area, Martin Skrtel is clambering all over Steven Caulker, dragging out of him with both hands. Tha should be a penalty - unquestionably.
70 min: Suarez shoots in a bid to score his hat-trick, but his effort is blocked and put out for a corner. The ball's sent into the penalty area and Cardiff clear.
67 min: Kevin Theophile-Catherine makes a crucial interception, nodding a cross from deep out of the path of Mamadou Sakho, who looked set to volley the ball goalwards.
65 min: From the free-kick, Whittingham sends the ball towards the far post, where this time it's Ben Turner who's been left unmarked. He heads diagonally into the arms of Simon Mignolet. Cardiff are doing well here - another goal for them would lead to a very interesting denouement.
63 min: Deep in Liverpool territroy, down near the corner flag, Frazier Campbell wins a free-kick from a tussle with Joe Allen. Whittingham floats the ball past the far post, aiming for Mutch again. It's a mite too high for the midfielder, but Cardiff win another free-kick out by the other touchline.
60 min: Cardiff win three throw-ins in quick succession deep in Liverpool territory. The third yields a corner, which Pete Whittingham sends across the face of goal, where Mutch headshigh over the bar. He mistimed his leap despite being unmarked with the goal at his mercy from six yards out.
GOAL! Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City (Mutch 58) Cardiff peg one back from a set pieece. They had a free-kick on the right flank, which Pete Whittingham swung towards the far post. Ben Turner played interference, illegaly holding Mamadou Sakho so he could couldn't jump to stop the ball flying over his head and Jordan Mutch was unmarked at the back post to head across the face of goal and into the bottom right-hand corner.
56 min: Pete Whittingham makes an important interception as Philippe Coutinho tries to pick out Luis Suarez with a cross from left flank to the edge of the Cardiff penalty area.
53 min: Cardiff substitutions: Peter Odemwingie and Gary Medel off, Kim Bo-Kyung and Fraizer Campbell on. Liverpool substitution: John Flanagan off, Martin Kelly on. Glen Johnson moves to left-back, so Kelly can take up his favoured right-back position.
51 min: Raheem Sterling goes on a driving run towards the Liverpool penalty area, but a poor touch takes the ball away from him when Luis Suarez was available and waiting for a pass. The Uruguayan flingds his hands in the air in exasperation. Moments later, Jordan Henderson has a pop from distance, but fails to score.
50 min: Philippe Coutinho drags the ball wide of the upright when he tries a shot from a yard or two outside the penalrty area.
49 min: Cardiff win a throw-in deep in their own half, whenthe ball goes out of play off Joe Allen, under pressure from Gary Medel. Not particularly exciting news, I'll grant you, but it's all I've got at the moment.
46 min: The ball's swung into the penalty area, cleared as far as Raheem Sterling who's lurking just outside it. He tries his luck with a volley that fizzes well wide.
Second half: Liverpool kick off, playing in to the Kop end. They immediately pick up where they left off in the first half, carving Cardiff open down the left flank with a series of one-twos, before Flanagan tries to square the ball for Suarez. Cardiff manage to bundle the ball out for a corner.
A song and dance routine from Vincent Tan's staff on the occasion of their glorious leader's 60th birthday. Jesus wept.
Correction & Clarification: I've just thought of something Cardiff City could do to try and prevent Liverpool from scoring. They could try defending, for a start - their full-backs Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Andrew Taylor might as well have stayed in the dressing room for all they contributed in the first half, while centre-backs Steven Caulker and Ben Turner have been ponderous in the face of Liverpool's relentless attacks.
Half-time house-keeping: While attempting to describe those goals, I didn't get around to telling you about the yellow card Martin Skrtel picked up for upending Jordan Mutch. It was the first yellow card of what has been an otherwise cleanly fought contest.
Half-time: Cardiff City troop off at the break with the match already beyond them. They haven't played particularly badly, but with Jordan Henderson, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling in such sparkling form, there's not much they can do. Suarez is unplayable at the moment and his young support cast is not shabby either.
GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff City (Suarez 44) Suarez begins and ends another move that results in a goal. Picking out John Flanagan with a move down the left flank, he takes up position on the edge of the penalty area to pick up the return pass. It duly arrives and Suarez shuttles a couple of yards to his right and then unleashes an unstoppable curler into the top right-hand corner that leaves David Marshall at full-stretch and clawing at fresh air.
GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Cardiff City (Sterling 41) Luis Suarez turns provider, latching on to long defence-splitting pass from the back to catch the Cardiff City back four flat-footed. With David Marshall's goal at his mercy, he unselfishly rolls the ball a couple of yards right to Raheem Sterling, who was up in support and had the simple job of rolling the ball into the empty net.
39 min: Raheem Sterling is wreaking havoc down the right flank, causing Cardiff left-back Andrew Taylor all sorts of bother. Twice in as many minutes he turns the No3 inside-out and ends up bearing down on goal ... oh, hang on.
37 min: The goal-line technology is pressed in to service, with Lee Probert glancing at his wrist gizmo after John Flanagan appeared to score from a tight angle, after following up on a miss from Luis Suarez. No goal. It was, however, a splendid save from David Marshall, who hooked the ball clear with his foot before it crossed the line.
35 min: From a free-kick, Liverpool go close when Steven Caulker plays two of their players offside and the unmarked Martin Skrtel heads over the bar. Moments later, Raheem Sterling slaloms his way down the right flank and sends in an inviting cross, which Kevin Theophile-Catherine heads out of the reach of the ever-menacing Suarez.
33 min: Excellent play from Coutinho, who gets the ball down by the byline on the left-hand side. He shapes to cross, then surprises David Marshall by trying to whip thge ball inside the near post from a ridiculously tight angle. The Cardiff goalkeeper is alert enough to keep the Brazilian's goalbound effort out.
28 min: Cardiff City win a free-kick, wide on the right, a long way out from the Liverpool goal. Pete Whittingtham sends the ball towards the far post, where it looks like Steven Caulker might get on the end of it and bravely head it past Simon Mignolet, under pressure from Martin Skrtel. Caulker appeals for a penalty, claiming Skrtel was holding on to him, but none is forthcoming. Replays show that the Liverpool defender was holding Caulker's arm with one hand and his shirt with the other. "It looked minimal in my eyes," says BT Sport pundit Michael Own.
27 min: Suarez was excellent there, picking up the ball well outside the penalty area, driving forward and playing it left to Henderson, then continuiong his run to meet the return pass on the volley and firing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner. Great play from both Liverpool players.
GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff City (Luis Suarez) The Uruguayan striker begins and ends the move that leads to Liverpool's opener, volleying past David Marshall with perfect technique from the edge of the penalty area.
23 min: Coutinho tries to pick out Jordan Henderson as he makes a forward run into the Cardiff penalty area. His chipped pass goes straight to Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.
21 min: Cardiff City's travelling fans are in festive mood, striking up a rousing rendition of "Feed the Scousers, let them know it's Christmas time!"
20 min: Raheem Sterling has a shot from the edge of the penalty area, left-hand side, blocked by Ben Turner after sweetly striking a cushioned knockdown from Mamadou Sakho. Moments previously, Luis Suarez had a shot deflected wide after being teed up by Philippe Coutinho. There's no question that Liverpool are on top here, but Cardiff are working hard at pressuring their players on the ball and have had the best chance so far.
16 min: From the corner, the unmarked Jordan Mutch gets a free header, but can only head the ball into the ground and wide. He should have scored there; that was a great opportunity.
15 min: Jordan Mutch leads the charge as Cardiff embarkl on a swift counter-attack from just inside their own penalty area. He passes to Jordan Mutch, who is up in support, and he cuts inside and shoots from distance. Good save by Simon Mignolet, who's forced into action and concedes the corner with a good save.
12 min: Good work for Craig Noone, who's working hard on causing problems down the right wing for Cardiff City, giving John Flanagan plenty to think about. his industriousness results in Jordan Mutch getting the ball, but wasting possession with a wild shot from an impossible angle.
10 min: Liverpool are dominating possession and spend a minute or so camped down in the Cardiff left-back position, before Lucas spreads the play wide in a bid to find an opening. THey end up back where they started, with Raheem Sterling hitting a fresh-air shot while trying to thump a breaking ball goalwards from just inside the penalty area.
7 min: Jordan Mutch wins a corner kick for Cardiff City, putting the ball out of play off John Flanagan. The ball's swung into the mixer and Liverpool clear.
5 min: Jordan Henderson sends a beautifully weighted long pass from inside his own half for Raheem Sterling to chase into the Cardiff City penalty area. Sterling leaves Ben Turner in his dust, then squares the ball three or four feet for Luis Suarez to try his luck from 15 or 16 yards. His shot is blocked.
3 min: That Suarez shot came on the back of good work from Raheem Sterling, who pulled the ball back from the byline that Cardiff failed to clear properly.
2 min: Luis Suarez has had an unsurprisingly lively start. He tries a shot from distance which appears to take a deflection from a Cardiff City player on it's way wide, but no corner is awarded. Goal kick for the visitors.
1 min: Liverpool kick off, playing from right to left, into the away end. THey've lined up in a 4-1-2-3, with Lucas Leiva patrolling the area in front of the back four, Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson between him and the front three of further forward Raheem Sterling (right), Philippe Coutinho (left) and Luis Suarez (centre). Cardiff are playing a 4-2-3-1.
The teams have lined up, gone through the pre-match formalities of handshakes and the like. It's first blood to Cardiff City, whose captain Steven Caulker appears to win the toss - less than two minutes to kick-off.
A beaming Luis Suarez is Liverpool captain for the day and has both hands on the shoulders of the mascot, a nervous looking young girl. He leans over and for a brief moment it looks like we might see a reprise of the Ivanovic arm-biting incident, but luckily he just wants to whisper something in her ear. Whatever he says has the desired effect and her face lights up with a smile.
... where QPR are entertaining Leicester City in the Championship. A squirrel on the pitch has stopped play. Leicester striker David Nugent eventually chases it from the pitch, apparently to be greeted by the biggest roar of appreciation he's heard since scoring that goal for England against San Marino.
He's asked for his thoughts on his friend Malky Mackay's situation: "It's very sad," he says. "I know Malky as well as anyone and to see someone who is arguably the best manager the club has ever had ... to see all that great work and professionalism ... to see somebody of that professionalism being totally disrespected in his work and in private is very disappointing."
"Following the game while grinding though an eight hour transit time in Rio airport!" he says. "Cant help but think that Mr Tan is happy to be hosted at Anfiled today - as opposed to venturing into his own club's home ground."
They'll go top of the league and remain there until Monday evening, when Arsenal play Chelsea. A win for Cardiff City would fire them into the top 10 and will, due in no small part to their owner's complete buffoonery, be a source of huge amusement for football fans everywhere ... except on the red half of Merseyside.
"Craig Bellamy is as hard to like on the pitch as he is hard to dislike off it," he writes. "Why can't players be consistent, like John Terry and Dennis Wise?"
He's just given an interview to BT Sport, in which he couldn't have been more dignified. He told Ray Stubbs that he'll deal with the pantomime surrounding his immediate career prospects in due course, but that for now he's concentrating on nothing other than getting a result from today's game. He also expressed his gratitude to his players, the Cardiff City supporters and everybody else who's supporting him during what must be a difficult time for a man who doesn't particularly strike me as somebody whoi's comfortable under the spotlight.
Some Cardiff City fans were there to greet him, with an assortment of boos, jeers and one comically loud "fuck off!". His reaction: laughter. He seemed to find it all very amusing.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan, Allen,
Lucas, Henderson, Sterling, Suarez, Coutinho.
Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Agger, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Kelly.
Cardiff: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner,
Taylor, Mutch, Medel, Noone, Gunnarsson, Whittingham,
Subs: Hudson, Cornelius, Campbell, Kim, Cowie, Lewis, John.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay arrived at Anfield to face Liverpool in what could be his last match in charge of the club. As the former Watford boss emerged from the team coach he gave a brief thumbs up to fans before disappearing into the stadium.
Prior to the bus's arrival supporters who had made the trip up from south Wales sang a song - to the tune of Billy Ray Cyrus's Achy Breaky Heart - 'Don't sack Mackay/ Malky Mackay/If you do you'll have a riot on your hands'. A chaotic day on Friday saw the Bluebirds' boss fail to attend his pre-match press conference after details of an email from owner Vincent Tan asking for him to resign or be sacked emerged hours earlier.
CLub owner Vincent Tan is also expected to attend this afternoon's match.
Good morning/afternoon everybody. At the time of writing (11.06am), Malky Mackay is, to the best of our knowledge, still the manager of Cardiff City, but there seems tio be a very good chance he'll be fired before his team's match against Liverpool kicks off at 12.45pm. Having been told to resign or be fired by his chairman Vincent Tan earlier this week, Mackay has been clinging on like Seinfeld character George Costanza, who famously refused to quit his job at Play Now in order to hold out for the pay-off he'd trouser if he got fired.
Should Malky get fired, he'll be due a seven-figure pay-off and unlike George, he'll deserve it. For a kick-off, Malky hasn't been pretending to be disabled in order to get his own mobility scooter, Stannah Stairlift and access to the best toilet at the Cardiff City Stadium, but has in fact been doing a pretty good job: getting Cardiff promoted to the Premier League, where they have won four and drawn five of the 16 matches they have played so far. According to Stuart James, our man on the Midlands and Wales football beat, Tan was due to hold talks with Mehmet Dalman, the club's chairman, in London last night, while it is understood the Cardiff striker Craig Bellamy was asked if he would be willing to take charge of the team on a temporary basis, until a permanent manager is appointed. Bellamy, who has always spoke highly of Mackay, made it clear that he was not interested in the position.