By jpa90, 17-11-2012, 18:15:48
Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Premier League as they beat Wigan Athletic 3-0 at Anfield. A goal from Jose Enrique and two strikes from Luis Suarez ensured the Reds took all three points and moved up to 11th in the Premier League table. Wigan were unable to create many chances and despite containing the home side for the first half, they could not stop an extremely in-form Suarez from netting two goals in 11 minutes after the restart.
|The sides exchanged possession early on and José Enrique was the first to threaten Wigan’s goal when he pounced on a loose ball and hit a low shot just outside the far post. A slip from Franco Di Santo allowed Liverpool to break from midfield and despite a clever dummy to find himself with a shooting opportunity, Suso had his shot blocked. Daniel Agger also got up well during a corner but his effort was turned around the post by Ali Al Habsi. After a difficult game at Stamford Bridge last week, the Reds were keen to prove their intent early on.
Space was opening up for Liverpool deep into the visitor’s half and Suarez had another shot blocked on the edge of the 18-yard box. Wigan were calm once they had won back possession and were efficient in moving the ball into attack. The visitors were keen to test Pepe Reina after returning from injury but the Spaniard was untroubled when Ben Watson smashed a shot over the bar after a decent lay-off from Arouna Koné. Reina was called into action when Koné hit a good shot from 35 yards, a speculative but accurate strike.
Liverpool won a free-kick and Steven Gerrard’s cross was deflected over the bar after he swung the ball into the box from the right-hand side. The ball fell to Glen Johson after the resulting corner but he smashed his shot high and wide. Al Habsi got his body firmly behind a fierce strike from Suso and the Reds were stepping up the intensity of their attack.
Raheem Stering collided with Watson on the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area and the Wigan midfielder limped off the pitch and could not continue. The visitors had two opportunities to threaten the Liverpool goal from free-kicks but they could not find the target on either attempt.
When Liverpool won the ball back they were quick to move into attack. Johnson accelerated down the left channel and delivered a fantastic ball into the Wigan area. His cross found Suso who got his head to the ball but he mistimed his jump, and his effort went flying over the bar. Despite having several decent attempts on goal, Rodgers substituted Suso for Jordan Henderson ten minutes before half-time.
Suarez looked dangerous with the ball when he ran at the Wigan defence and the Uruguayan was working hard to find space in order to receive the ball from midfield. The visitors were able to contain Liverpool’s fast-paced attacks and efficiently pressed the ball when the Reds were forced backwards.
Liverpool threatened again when Gerrard located Suarez in the box whose narrow shot was again blocked by Al Habsi. Joe Allen had his nose accidently gashed open just before half time after he tangled with Shaun Maloney and Liverpool played the last five minutes with ten men. Neither side could find the net however and the score was 0-0 at half time.
The home side had eight shots in the first half with only three being on target. The Reds stepped out wanting to make one of these chances count and their ninth chance became Suarez’s ninth Premier League goal of the season. With less than two minutes of the second half played, Sterling surged down the right wing and played a ball back to Suarez in the box. The striker hammered his shot into the top-right corner to make it 1-0.
Liverpool’s game plan had seemingly come together as they controlled possession and enjoyed knocking the ball around with confidence. Sterling was causing problems for the last line of Wigan’s defence with darting runs and accurate balls into the box. José Enrique collected the ball on the left wing and worked his way into the middle of Wigan’s half. He then played an inch-perfect pass into Suarez who had timed his run to perfection. The striker poked the ball past Al Habsi with the outside of his foot and doubled his side’s lead.
The Reds were finding space in threatening areas and Wigan could not hold onto the ball. Sterling exchanged a wonderful one-two with Suarez and Al Habsi got a fist to Sterling’s resulting effort. However the Wigan defence failed to pick up José Enrique who charged in and tapped home to make it 3-0. Seconds later the Spaniard provided Henderson with a golden opportunity to make it four, but the midfielder skied his half-volley.
Johnson also came close to adding to the home side’s lead when he linked up well with José Enrique and released a low shot just outside the box, only to see it skip just wide of the post. Again José Enrique provided a fantastic ball through the defence to give Suarez his hat-trick opportunity, but his shot swerved across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Despite a fairly non-eventful first half, Liverpool took full advantage of their superior attack and punished Wigan with three deserved goals. The Reds extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games and Wigan remain 14th in the table.
Kopworld man of the match: Luis Suarez