A fantastic result for Wigan Athletic in the Liverpool sunshine saw a first ever win at Anfield for the Latics, Maloney’s first half penalty and a well taken goal by captain Caldwell five minutes after the hour, sandwiched a Suarez consolation for the home side just after the break, as the Latics knocked the ball around with ease to take the stuffing out of Liverpool and make them look anything but a team chasing a top seven finish
The game started brightly for an unchanged Latics with both Moses and Beausejour looking dangerous, the first real chance came when Moses burst into the Liverpool box then, not unusually, instead of lifting his head up to spot an unmarked Shaun Maloney, the Latics youngster fired in a low shot which was blocked by the Liverpool defence
Moses was in the thick of it minutes later when he challenged in the Liverpool area for the ball, Skrtel’s high foot caught Moses flush on the jaw and referee Lee Mason had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Following some lengthy treatment on Moses, Shaun Maloney stepped up to smash an inch perfect penalty in to Reina’s bottom right hand corner, 30 minutes gone and the Latics in a well deserved lead, 0-1
Albert Crusat came on to replace the injured Moses as the first-half was wearing down but the Latics comfortably held on to take their lead into the second period.
Unfortunately two minutes after half-time it was all square, Gerrard, on the right, cut inside the Latics box, he squared for the oncoming Suarez who never broke stride to sidefoot a class strike past Al-Habsi and into the bottom far corner, 1-1.
The goal seemed to lift Liverpool somewhat and they started to put pressure on the Latics, a cross from the left bounced over Al-Habsi, Caldwell on the line under pressure from Suarez was struggling to clear, the Uruguay international looked to have bundled the ball into the goal and ran off in celebration, fortunately for the Latics eagle-eyed referee Lee Mason had spotted that Suarez had in fact punched the ball into the net and not only disallowed the goal but also booked Suarez for deliberate handball
Latics started to ease themselves back in to the game and played some great possession football, on 65 minutes Beausejour was ‘cleaned-out’ off the ball by Liverpool fullback Flanagan, before the resultant free kick was taken the Chile international was replaced by Ben Watson, Maloney swung the free kick into the Liverpool area, the ball was cleared to James McCarthy, his first time snatch-shot sent the ball to the feet of Gary Caldwell who coolly switched from left to right foot and swept the ball past Reina into the net, 1-2
Liverpool huffed and puffed, and dove, Suarez getting Figueroa booked for a trip when it was clear the Latics left back hadn’t touched him, but with three points almost in the bag there was no way Martinez’s men were going to, nor indeed looked like conceding an equaliser, in fact substitute Connor Sammon almost made it 3-1 when he got a shot away under pressure from Skrtel
At the final whistle there were high fives from the Latics players and a chorus of boos from the Liverpool fans, a well deserved victory, the first ever by a Wigan team at Anfield and hope reignited in the fight against the drop
Liverpool – Reina, Flanagan,Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Gerrard, Spearing, Henderson (Carroll 45), Downing (Shelvey 73), Suarez, Kuyt (Sterling 84)
Unused subs: Doni, Coates, Aurelio, Eccleston
Latics – Al-Habsi, Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Beausejour (Watson 62), McArthur, McCarthy, Maloney, Moses (Crusat 42), Di Santo (Sammon 81)
Unused subs: Kirkland, Stam, Thomas, Gomez
Latics and Proud
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