2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (57')
  • James Milner (81' PEN)

Liverpool go top after Wijnaldum, Milner goals down Cardiff

Wijnaldum, Milner keep Liverpool's title hopes alive (2:21)

A Georginio Wijnaldum volley and James Milner penalty gave Liverpool the win they needed to stay ahead of Manchester City in the table. (2:21)

Liverpool returned to the top of the table with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cardiff City thanks to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and a James Milner penalty.

Jurgen Klopp's men had the better of the opening 45 minutes but were unable to break the deadlock.

Roberto Firmino in particular was guilty of blazing over when left with a one-on-one with Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Cardiff, whose midweek victory away to relegation rivals Brighton had given them real hope of survival, looked determined to upset the odds and claim a valuable point as they created a few half chances early on.

However, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was rarely threatened and the visitors came out much the stronger in the second half -- and their pressure finally told as they opened the scoring on 57 minutes.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's low corner came to Wijnaldum, who rifled an effort into the corner.

Cardiff defender Sean Morrison should have pulled a goal back for the hosts when he somehow completely missed a header when presented with an open goal as the ball hit his back.

Morrison's day went from bad-to-worse as he conceded a penalty with 10 minutes remaining after tangling with Salah and Milner made no mistake from the spot.

"It was prepared to be a proper banana skin and we knew that, the boys were unbelievable," Klopp said. "It was clear, difficult for all of us.

"The boys try really with all they have, we only speak about the things we have to do. Their attitude is outstanding and it's a tough season but a very positive one as well."

Liverpool return to the Premier League's summit with Manchester City, who are two points behind travelling to rivals United on Wednesday to play their game in hand.

Cardiff remain in the drop zone, three points behind Brighton, who have a game in hand.

English Premier League Standings

1 Liverpool 27 +47 79
2 Manchester City 27 +39 57
3 Leicester City 27 +27 50
4 Chelsea 27 +8 44
5 Manchester United 27 +12 41
6 Tottenham Hotspur 27 +8 40
7 Sheffield United 27 +4 40
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 +6 39
9 Arsenal 27 +3 37
10 Burnley 27 -6 37
11 Everton 27 -5 36
12 Southampton 27 -14 34
13 Crystal Palace 27 -8 33
14 Newcastle United 27 -17 31
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 27 -7 28
16 AFC Bournemouth 27 -17 26
17 Aston Villa 27 -18 25
18 West Ham United 27 -16 24
19 Watford 27 -19 24
20 Norwich City 27 -27 18