Match Report: Liverpool 3-0 over Wigan, Suarez brilliant in comfortable win
Liverpool are back to winning ways at home after a 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic in the Premier League, a game where several stand-out performers helped the Reds to their first Anfield victory in a month.
Luckily for the Reds on Saturday, Suarez saved the day for them, scoring his ninth and 10th English Premier League goals to push Liverpool to a 3-0 victory, earning them the three points that they had to get.
The first half was rather evenly matched in terms of possession, though Ali Al-Habsi was certainly the busier of the goal-keepers.
They didn’t get anything going until the second half, but once Liverpool heated up just after the break, they steamrolled Wigan. Luis Suarez was at his best, scoring twice for the Reds.
Raheem Sterling once again showed why he deserves an England call. He set up Suarez’s opener with a brilliant run down the right flank. With a beautiful touch, he surged past Maynor Figueroa and into open space before cutting a ball back to Suarez in the center of the box. The ball was a bit behind Suarez, but he adjusted well and finished perfectly to put Liverpool up after 47 minutes.
Then Suarez finished one more time in the 58th minute to push the Reds to a 2-0 lead. His goal came from a great through ball from Jose Enrique. He timed his run precisely on a great through ball past the Wigan defense, then hit a stellar shot to the back post with the outside of his right foot, doubling Liverpool’s lead.
Enrique added the exclamation point in the 66th minute, set up predictably by Suarez and Sterling. Ali Al-Habsi made a great save on Sterling after Suarez played him into the box, but the Wigan defense couldn’t clear away, and Enrique found himself in a perfect position to poke in his side’s third goal. This is the first time that Enrique has scored in a Red shirt.
Liverpool are 11th position in the English Premier League table with 15 points from 12 games. Wigan are at 15th position with 11 points from 12 games.
Word from the Managers:
“I think there are superlatives for the team today. I thought the team was outstanding, in particular second half,” the Northern Irishman said in his post-match press conference.
“Luis took his goals very well, his movement again was outstanding, but today was very much about the team. The ethos and the spirit of the team, the pressure that we applied as a team, was very strong. Today was a result for everyone and I was delighted with that performance.
“We’re very much a team – Luis is a very big part of that and you see his goals today. His first goal was a wonderful finish, great weight of pass by young Raheem and he finished it great.
“The second one was a lovely pass from Jose Enrique and a nice little off-the-shoulder run and finish.”
“He’s a master marksman, absolutely outstanding and obviously we’re thrilled to have him. But the ethos is very much on the team and I thought the team was excellent today.”
Rodgers also explained the thinking behind the withdrawal of midfielder Suso 10 minutes before the break, with Jordan Henderson’s introduction designed to change the dynamics in the central area.
“I felt that the organisation at the front end of the field wasn’t what I wanted really, and you make a decision in the game,” revealed the boss, whose side are now unbeaten in seven league fixtures.
“You can let it run but I always try to use my intuition and what I feel is best for the team at that moment. He had some nice touches, he nearly scored but that’s a part of the game. I just felt that I’d flip the triangle around.
“We were playing two and one, and I felt that it wasn’t so good for us when we didn’t have the ball. Then just flip the triangle round and two players going to join in, and that seemed to work well for us.”
Rodgers on Enrique:
“He’s a terrific talent. Look at Gareth Bale – he played a lot at left-back and then pushed forward one and it really suited his strengths. Jose is someone I think can do that role with his power and his pace.
“We said to him yesterday that he and Raheem can get goals if they get inside the frame of the goal. When the ball is wide or Luis is doing his bit of magic on the line, there will be goals there for them.”
“He made up a lot of ground to get in, anticipated it and got his finish. It’s great commitment by him and hopefully it continues.”
“There was a stamp. That’s not the sign of a top player,” said Martinez, who also lost Ben Watson with a broken leg.
“Things happen in a game and he was lucky today. It wasn’t a nasty game. The broken leg was an accident. When you see the replay of the challenge on Jones you see the stamp, but that’s the nature of the game. If the referee doesn’t see it you are lucky.”
Man of the Match:
Two goals in 11 second-half minutes from Luis Suarez pretty much wrapped the game up for Liverpool, as they never looked like conceding against Wigan Athletic at any point. Suarez has now scored 15 goals for club and country this season. He is also the top scorer in the English Premier League with 10 goals. Statistically, he has taken off 124 minutes per goal from last season’s scoring rate, and now actually has a better shot conversion rate than Cristiano Ronaldo: 17 percent for Suarez versus 14 percent for the Real Madrid goal-scorer. He is also the fourth most valuable player in Europe at the moment only behind Messi, Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Wigan midfielder Ben Watson suffered a broken leg in his team’s 3-0 defeat at Premier League rivals Liverpool, Latics boss Roberto Martinez has revealed.
“It is a broken leg and we will see the extent of the break and what treatment he needs,” said Martinez.
“Both were looking at the ball – it’s a real accident. It’s a nasty collision.”
Martinez added: “The injury affected us too much. We are really going to miss him. He has got a fracture.
“We are going to assess him now, maybe he needs surgery. It is too early to tell [how long he will be out for].
“We are really disappointed because Ben reached a really, really good level and today you could see that every time he got on the ball we were very penetrating with his quality.”
“To Ben Watson I didn’t realise it was serious as that ill be praying for a speedy recovery mate ill have you in my prayers every day #sorry,” Sterling tweeted.
Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Agger (82?), Skrtel, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Sterling, Enrique, Suarez (88?), Suso (37?)
Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson (37?), Coates, Carragher (82?), Shelvey (88?)
Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell (69?), Figueroa, Boyce, Beausejour, Watson (32?), McCarthy, Maloney, Di Santo (70?), Kone
Subs: Pollitt, Jones (32?), Gomez (69?), McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Miyaichi (70?)
Goals: Luis Suarez 47?, 59?; Jose Enrique 66?
Bookings: Yellow - Maynor Figureoa 39?; Gary Caldwell 66?; Franco Di Santo 66?
Referee: Kevin Friend