London: 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 Manchester United, in seventh, overcame West Ham United 3-1 at Old Trafford through Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young.
Uruguayan Suarez, who penned a new long-term deal with the club on Friday, expertly volleyed in Liverpool`s opener before setting up Raheem Sterling for the second.
Suarez then made it 3-0 with his 19th league goal of a great season on the stroke of halftime.
The easy win over 15th-placed Cardiff, and their beleaguered manager Malky Mackay, put Liverpool a point clear at the top with 36 from 17 games.
Arsenal, on 35 points, can take back first place by beating visiting Chelsea on Monday (2000 GMT).
There were also victories on Saturday for Newcastle United and Stoke City while managerless West Bromwich Albion drew 1-1 with Hull City and there was a dour 0-0 stalemate between Sunderland and Norwich City.