written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com
With a busy festive period starting Liverpool travelled to the DW Stadium to face a Wigan side at the wrong end of the League table. Wigan has a good recent record against Liverpool with two draws in the last couple years at the DW. But Liverpool has good form away from home this season and played well on Sunday away at Aston Villa. Wigan’s last game was a great performance in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the weekend. But with the news of Suarez facing a fine and an 8 match ban for the long running saga with the FA it would be interesting to see if he would play.
Dalglish did start Suarez for the trip to Wigan and only made two changes to the side which beat Villa last Sunday with Maxi and Kuyt coming into the side replacing Shelvey and Bellamy. So once again Carragher and Andy Caroll had to warm the bench . Gerrard is still recovering from injury but good news that he has started training with the first team again.
Liverpool players showed their support for their much maligned team mate Luis Suarez when they warmed up in T-shirts with a picture of Suarez on them. The visiting support was very vocal in their support for their hero.
The game started with Liverpool on the attack and Adam had an early chance with a free-kick but he put his effort into the wall. Then Henderson tested Al Habsi with a shot from the edge of the box and it wasn’t until the 12th minute when Wigan had their first effort Gomez’s close range shot was blocked by Reina after a goal mouth scramble.
The game was becoming more stretched as the half wore on with chances at both ends and it was Maxi next when he volleyed over a Suarez centre. Wigan had the next chance when Diame hit the side netting with a great swerving effort.
Maxi and Downing linked up well before Downing’s cross was hooked towards goal by Kuyt but his effort was blocked by Al Habsi. Then Johnson had a great chance inside the 6 yard box but Al Habsi once again came to Wigan’s rescue with another great save.
Liverpool was creating a lot of chances but Wigan still looked dangerous and Reina to be alert to save another Diame effort. Then Moses made a tremendous run from his own half only to see his resulting shot fisted away by Reina.
With both sides level at the half it was Liverpool who came close early in the second half, but Al Habsi tipped a Suarez free-kick over his bar. Moments later Liverpool was awarded a penalty when Caldwell handled a Suarez overhead kick. Adam blasted his spot kick into the corner only to see Al Habsi make a terrific save at full stretch.
The penalty miss seemed to affect Liverpool as they struggled to create as many chances. Dalglish brought on Shelvey and Bellamy for Kuyt and Maxi to try and change things but it was Wigan that could have snatched a winner late on but Rodallego headed against Johnson. Another frustrating night for Liverpool who had more than enough chances to win this match.
I was quite surprised to see Suarez start after the week that he has had but it was great to see the vocal support from the fans towards him. Liverpool created some good chances but when you miss such a chance like a penalty then you are going to struggle to score. Wigan had chances too and made it difficult but I thought we did enough to win. Great to see our defence get another clean sheet, but it is worrying the amount of chances we miss. Two home games coming up over the festive period, so hopefully 6 points for Christmas.
Man Of The Match – Skrtel – I thought the big man was superb once again. He is playing really well and a big reason why our defensive record is so good.