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Saturday 22 March 2014

Review: Liverpool and Man City keep up the chase

Hat-tricks from Suarez and Toure maintain pressure on leaders Chelsea after their rout of Arsenal

Best of Saturday's action

Liverpool and Manchester City did not let Chelsea’s six-goal rout of Arsenal affect them as they also got in on the goals in maintaining the chase of the leaders of the Barclays Premier League.

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Liverpool maintained their title push and broke new goalscoring ground by beating struggling Cardiff City 6-3. Having taken apart Manchester United last weekend, Brendan Rodgers' side were required to show a different side to their game as they found themselves behind twice in south Wales.

With Chelsea hammering Arsenal 6-0 in the day's early match, Liverpool fought back to stay four behind the leaders at the top and in the process set a new club record for goals scored in a Barclays Premier League season. Rodgers went a goal down after Jordon Mutch's ninth-minute opener, before Suarez hauled Liverpool level soon afterwards.

The Reds' fell behind again to Fraizer Campbell's effort on 25 minutes, but Martin Skrtel levelled before the break with Liverpool's record 78th goal of the Premier League campaign before adding his second after the interval.

Suarez scored twice either side of Daniel Sturridge's strike to take the game away from Cardiff, with Mutch completing his brace late on, and the hosts finding some consolation from the defeats of relegation rivals Sunderland, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

Yaya Toure netted a hat-trick to keep Manchester City on course in their Barclays Premier League title push with a 5-0 win over Fulham. The west Londoners' centre-back Fernando Amorebieta gave away a penalty in each half - both converted by Toure. The latter foul, on City’s David Silva, resulted in a second yellow for the former Athletic Bilbao defender.

Toure saved his best goal until last, arcing home an exquisite 30-yard strike to bring up 20 goals for the season. His midfield partner Fernandinho got in on the act with five minutes to play and Martin Demichelis enjoyed a tap-in to complete the scoring.

The result lifts Manuel Pellegrini's team above Arsenal to third place in the table, six points behind Chelsea ahead of the first of their three matches in hand on the leaders at Manchester United on Tuesday. Fulham remain rooted to the bottom, four points adrift of safety.

Chelsea had set the high-scoring tone earlier in the day as Arsene Wenger endured a woeful 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal, with the Barclays Premier League leaders romping to a 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman has never tasted victory over Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and that record continued as Arsenal were taken apart easily. Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schurrle capitalised on poor defending to put the hosts two goals ahead inside seven minutes.

Things soon got worse for Arsenal as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled on the line after 15 minutes to concede a penalty that Eden Hazard converted. Before the kick was taken Kieran Gibbs was sent off. Oscar added further goals either side of half-time and substitute Mohamed Salah also got in on the act to round off Arsenal’s poor day.

Everton moved up to fifth place in the table as a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park left opponents Swansea City winless in eight matches. Leighton Baines, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley were on target to secure a 11th home league win for Roberto Martinez's men this season, moving them above Tottenham Hotspur, who host Southampton on Sunday.

Baines opened the scoring with a penalty, maintaining his 100 per cent record from the spot in the Barclays Premier League, only for Wilfried Bony to pull Swansea level before half-time. Lukaku and Barkley found the net early in the second half to take the game away from the visitors and leave Swansea head coach Garry Monk still searching for his second win since succeeding Michael Laudrup. Ashley Williams pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but it was not enough for Swansea, who will be looking nervously over their shoulders towards the relegation zone, above which they are three places and four points.

Manchester United are just a point behind sixth-placed Spurs, after completing a 2-0 away victory over West Ham United. Wayne Rooney scored twice in the first half, his first goal a spectacular long-range strike from near the halfway line, to crown a positive few days for the Red Devils, who qualified for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Shane Long was a central figure against former club West Bromwich Albion as Hull City won 2-0. The Irishman won a penalty for Hull against the team he left in January before scoring his team's second as Steve Bruce's men eased their relegation worries with a much-needed three points. Long was fouled by Craig Dawson in the 32nd minute and referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot. Ben Foster saved Nikica Jelavic's kick, only for Liam Rosenior to follow up and head in his first goal for the club. Long got on the scoresheet six minutes later, poking home from 10 yards after a flick-on from Curtis Davies. Hull rose to 11th on 33 points, eight points off the bottom three.

Norwich City gave their survival hopes a boost as they battled to a 2-0 win over 10-man Sunderland. The home team were ruthless during a one-sided first half at Carrow Road that set them on the way to victory.

Robert Snodgrass broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a well-placed finish, before Alex Tettey doubled the lead with a superb 30-yard volley. Sunderland improved after the break, but any chance of a late comeback ended with Marcos Alonso's stoppage-time sending-off for a second booking.

Victory put seven points between Norwich and the relegation zone, while Sunderland stay in the bottom three.

A late goal from Papiss Cisse earned Newcastle United a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. Cisse found the net with an injury-time header, after passing up several presentable goal-scoring chances. The Senegal forward had been frequently denied by Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni, but redeemed himself by meeting Ben Arfa's perfectly placed far-post ball with a bullet header that flew into the top corner four minutes into stoppage time.

The Carlsberg Live Match Centre brings you live updates from our team of expert bloggers, match facts and stats, manager press conference videos, live action images, line-ups and formations, as well as the latest Fantasy Premier League points for your team. Click on the links below for more.

Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal  |  #CHEARS  |  More  on the Live Match Centre >>

Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool  |  #CARLIV  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Everton 3-2 Swansea |  #EVESWA  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Hull City 2-0 West Brom | #HULWBA  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Man City 5-0 Fulham   | #MCIFUL  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace | #NEWCRY  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Norwich 2-0 Sunderland |  #NORSUN  |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

West Ham 2-0 Man Utd  | #WHUMUN  |  Follow on the Live Match Centre >>

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