Suarez signed a "long-term" deal on Friday and he took his tally of league goals to 19 as Brendan Rodgers's side moved a point clear of Arsenal, who host third-placed Chelsea on Monday.

The result added to the gloom around 15th-place Cardiff, whose manager, Malky Mackay, is thought to be on the brink of losing his job after falling out with club owner Vincent Tan.

Suarez opened his account in the 25th minute at Anfield when he met Jordan Henderson's left-wing centre with a controlled volley that found the bottom-left corner.

The Uruguayan teed up Raheem Sterling to tap home the second goal in the 42nd minute and three minutes later he made it 3-0, curling a glorious shot into the bottom-right corner from Henderson's back-heel.

Jordon Mutch replied for Cardiff with a 58th-minute header from a Peter Whittingham free-kick.

Liverpool manager Rodgers praised Suarez, saying: "He's doing his job to a really high level. He's doing it consistently; week in, week out.

"For me he's got this in-built brain for football. His view of the game is different to others and he has an anticipation of where the ball is going to drop."

Mackay struck a defiant tone after the game, saying: "I won't be walking away. That's the first thing. I'm proud to be the manager of Cardiff City."

Manchester City can climb above Arsenal on goal difference by winning at Fulham later on Saturday, while Manchester United will look to make up ground on the top four when they host West Ham United.

Bottom club Sunderland, meanwhile, will hope to carry the momentum from their mid-week League Cup win over Chelsea into their home game with Norwich City, as they bid to close the five-point gap to safety.

Third-bottom Crystal Palace are at home to Newcastle United, while Aston Villa visit Stoke City and Hull City travel to West Bromwich Albion.