Luis Suarez scored twice as Liverpool beat troubled Cardiff City 3-1 to go top of the Premier League on Saturday.
The 26-year-old striker, who signed a new four-and-a-half year contract at Liverpool on Friday, volleyed in the opener and then raced clear to set up Raheem Sterlin for a tap in.
Liverpool were 3-0 ahead at the interval after the Uruguayan curled in a low 18-yard shot before Jordon Mutch headed in for Cardiff in the second-half.
With the uncertainty concerning the future of the Welsh club’s boss, Malky Mackay, growing by the day after the club owner Vincent Tan asked him to resign in the week or get sacked, the Anfield faithful made sure they didn’t get distracted by the development in the opposite dugout, cheering their in-form team with every kick of the ball.
The traveling fans were frank about their love for their manager, who guided the club back to the top flight after years of absence, holding up banners against their Malaysian businessman owner.
Suarez for one continued to shine for the Reds and scored his 18th goal of the season in the 25th minute, volleying past goalkeeper David Marshall from a Jordan Henderson’s cross.
The chances came in trolls for Liverpool with Marshall standing between them and goal.
Henderson released Suarez with a piercing outside-of-the-boot pass, only for the striker to square for Sterling to tap in on 42 minutes.
Suarez added an impressive third just before the break when he latched on to Henderson’s backheel to curl a low shot into the bottom corner.
Cardiff got off to a better start in the second-half and were rewarded with a goal when Mutch was left unmarked to steer in a header from Peter Whittingham’s free-kick.
The visitors thought they deserved a penalty when Martin Skrtel dragged Steven caulker in the box but referee Lee Probert waved play on.
Liverpool got right back in control in the closing stages of the game and almost struck a fourth in the final ten.
Depending on the result between Arsenal and Chelsea on Monday, Liverpool could top the league at Christmas for the first time since 2009.