Luis Suarez puts Liverpool top as Manchester City hit four

Luis SuarezLiverpool's Luis Suarez reacts during their English Premier League soccer match against Cardiff City at Anfield (Reuters)

Luis Suarez celebrated his new contract by sending Liverpool to the top of the Premier League thanks to two goals and another virtuoso display in a 3-1 home win over crisis club Cardiff City on Saturday.

Manchester City moved up to second despite a bizarre Vincent Kompany own goal in a 4-2 victory at lowly Fulham while champions Manchester United, in seventh, overcame West Ham United 3-1 through Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young.

The irrepressible Suarez, who looked to be heading out of Anfield in the close season following a ban for biting an opponent, expertly volleyed in the opener before setting up Raheem Sterling for the second after a superb ball from the resurgent Jordan Henderson.

It was soon 3-0 as the 26-year-old Suarez netted his 19th league goal of the season on the stroke of halftime with a superb curling shot from the edge of the box following more Henderson magic with a back-heel.

Liverpool hammered Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 away last weekend and could have had more against Cardiff with Suarez almost completing a hat-trick when he clipped the post.

"I am happy with the new contract but I was focused on the game. We played very well in the first half," the Uruguay striker told BT Sport television.

"It's too early to say (we can win the title). It is important we work for the next game. When we play at home we are strong."

The easy win over sixth from bottom Cardiff, and their beleaguered manager Malky Mackay, sent Liverpool a point clear at the top with 36 from 17 games.

Arsenal (35 points), who are third, can take back first position by winning at home to fourth-placed Chelsea (33) on Monday (2000 GMT).

Suarez, again captain in the continued absence of the injured Steven Gerrard, penned a long-term deal on Friday as Liverpool try to build on a strong start and finally challenge for the title again after years of woe.

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