Football: Red-hot Suarez fires Liverpool top

Liverpool's Luis Suarez during theEnglish Premier League match against Cardiff City at Anfield in Liverpool, on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Suarez celebrated his new contract by scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Cardiff City that sent Liverpool t
Liverpool's Luis Suarez during theEnglish Premier League match against Cardiff City at Anfield in Liverpool, on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Suarez celebrated his new contract by scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Cardiff City that sent Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

LONDON (AFP) - Luis Suarez celebrated his new contract by scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013, that sent Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table.

Suarez signed a "long-term" deal on Friday and he took his tally of league goals to 19 as Brendan Rodgers's side moved a point clear of Arsenal, who host third-placed Chelsea on Monday.

The result added to the gloom around 15th-place Cardiff, whose manager, Malky Mackay, is thought to be on the brink of losing his job after falling out with club owner Vincent Tan.

Suarez opened his account in the 25th minute at Anfield when he met Jordan Henderson's left-wing centre with a controlled volley that found the bottom-left corner.

The Uruguayan teed up Raheem Sterling to tap home the second goal in the 42nd minute and three minutes later he made it 3-0, curling a glorious shot into the bottom-right corner from Henderson's back-heel.

Jordon Mutch replied for Cardiff with a 58th-minute header from a Peter Whittingham free-kick.

Liverpool manager Rodgers praised Suarez, saying: "He's doing his job to a really high level. He's doing it consistently; week in, week out.

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

Mackay struck a defiant tone after the game, saying: "I won't be walking away. That's the first thing. I'm proud to be the manager of Cardiff City."