Rodgers ponders Liverpool rise to top

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was left pondering the prospect of a title after his side went top of the Barclays Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool

A 3-1 win over in-crisis Cardiff at Anfield thanks to two goals from Luis Suarez, who took his tally to 19 for the season, and another from Raheem Sterling before Jordon Mutch replied in the second half for the visitors, lifted the Reds above Arsenal.

If the Gunners fail to win against Chelsea on Monday then Liverpool will be top on Christmas Day - and the last four teams to have been in that position went on to win the title.

"I think it is unprecedented for a club to go from seventh to first - it doesn't happen," Rodgers said.

"But I think at this moment in time as we are sat at the top of the table entering this period it shows the great work the players and the club is aligned to.

"We want to keep this momentum going. I felt it was important to have a good start (to the season).

"Last year it took us a while for us to get into the top 10. Over this calendar year it is not by accident.

"People talked about a good start but if you look back you will see from January this is a team which has been on the up.

"It was always going to be competitive, looking at the teams and the investment across the Premier League.

"I have been really pleased with our consistency but I only really focus on ourselves.

"We can't ever think we have cracked it. We can't become complacent you have to be focused and move on to the next game.

"We are very calm. We are not getting carried away. We are focusing on improving our performance level.

"We know the natural consequence will be to win games and if you win games you will be in a good position."

Suarez, who on Friday to everyone's amazement signed a new long-term contract, was at his clinical best again with two brilliant strikes.

However, the most surprising thing was his pass to Sterling for Liverpool's second when he could have easily beaten goalkeeper David Marshall himself.

It at least allowed Rodgers to add a new adjective to a vocabulary which he seemed to have exhausted with the superlative performances by the Uruguayan this season.

"The one today is unselfish," he added.

"He is through on goal and you don't seed too many strikers do that but it shows the team player he is.

"He showed great humility as well because when Daniel Agger came on he gave him the armband because he is the vice-captain.

"Two brilliant goals, a genuine world-class player who is the pivotal point of the team."

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay, who seems destined to be imminently sacked after a fall-out with owner Vincent Tan, admitted it was Suarez who broke their resistance.

"I was very much a proud man for the way we approached the game," Mackay said.

"The first 20 minutes we were excellent and then one of the best players in the world right now comes into his own and for the next 25 minutes he is blinding.

"He scores two goals and sets another one up and at that point if we don't come out and do what we do then that can be five or six today because we were playing against a fantastic team, one which has a chance of the title.

"The players came out and showed great courage and belief, pushed Liverpool back, scored one and had three or four chances and were on the front foot so I am proud of them for that.

"We allowed our fans to enjoy the second half in terms of making a game of it."

Boss Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for his striker as he extended his lead at the top of the Premier League goalscorers chart.

"He's doing his job to a really high level," Rodgers said.

"He's doing it consistently, week-in, week-out.

"For me he's this in-built brain for football. His view of game is different to others and he has an anticipation of where ball is going to drop."

After hammering Tottenham 5-0 away last weekend, Rodgers was again left enthused by his team's all-round display.

"The team was outstanding today," he said.

"In the first half some of our football was exceptional.

"The chances that we are creating we are putting away. We could have scored five in the first half."

Rodgers played down title talk, though, adding: "We'll let everyone speak about it themselves.

"Since January we've been exceptional. People will talk us up and people will talk us down - it is irrelevant to us."

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