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Premier League

  • 21 December 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 19230

Wigan Athletic 0-0 Liverpool: Second-half Charlie Adam penalty miss means Reds' frustrating week goes on

Wigan Athletic 0-0 Liverpool: Second-half Charlie Adam penalty miss means Reds' frustrating week goes on

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The Scot failed to convert a 50th minute penalty, leading to a nil-all draw and shared points between two clubs at opposite ends of the Premier League table

A bad week for Liverpool didn't get any better on Wednseday after a penalty save from Wigan goalkeeper Ali-Al Habsi preserved a 0-0 draw for the home side at the DW Stadium.

Charlie Adam hit the spot kick after Luis Suarez saw his bicycle kick strike the arm of Gary Caldwell but the Omani shot-stopper kept it out with a fine stretching save.

Reds forward Suarez started the game after having been punished with an eight-match ban for the racial abuse of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October, and the Uruguayan and his team-mates were unable to break the deadlock in a sloppy, open match.

Liverpool registered the first shot on target after eight minutes when a constant spell of pressure ended with Al-Habsi parrying midfielder Jordan Henderson's one-timed shot around his near post.

The home side finally forced a save from Reds keeper Pepe Reina after 20 minutes when defender Maynor Figueora fired from range.

Mohamed Diame and Victor Moses then both drove long-range shots in the following minutes, but they fizzed wide and over.

Meanwhile, Al Habsi was continually called into action in the Wigan net. Dirk Kuyt, Glen Johnson, and Suarez were each denied by the Oman international in succession as the two teams exchanged chances.

Spot of bother | Adam missed a vital penalty as the Reds stumbled

The match was wide-open and both sides were counter-attacking with aplomb as Moses tackled and won the ball inside his own penalty box, taking the ball the course of the field before stinging Reina's hands with another far-sighted effort on 36 minutes.

Wigan had recovered from Liverpool's early aggression and control, but neither side were able to break the deadlock before the half-time interval.

Liverpool came out of the tunnel and began the second half as they had started the first. After five minutes of pressure, the visitors were awarded a spot-kick when a bicycle kick from Suarez struck defender Caldwell's outstretched arm.

Adam stepped up for the penalty, but Al-Habsi heroically dove left to save the pulled shot from the Scotsman with his trailing arm.

The Reds continually had the better share of the ball, also making better use of it than their hosts. However, Liverpool's forays into the Wigan box came to nothing, as did the Latics' occasional shots from range.

Latics manager Roberto Martinez then introduced striker Franco di Santo for Connor Sammon with the hope to snatch a late goal and pick up all three points

Dalgish made changes himself after a further 10 minutes of enterprising, but ultimately sloppy football between the two teams, bringing on Craig Bellamy and Jonjo Shelvey for Maxi Rodriguez and Kuyt, respectively.

Martinez issued his final two orders proceeding Dalglish's changes, adding striker Hugo Rodellaga and Ben Watson for Jordi Gomez and David Jones.

At this point, after almost 80 minutes, each side had at least 15 shots, but just a fraction were on target and it seemed inevitable than any first goal would also be the last.

Moses and Rodellaga combined near the death to fashion a close-range attempt, but the Colombian's header was deflected off the goal-line. Wigan threatened from the resulting corner but to no avail.

Even the introduction of Andy Carroll by Dalglish wasn't enough to steal three points away from the deserving hosts.

It was fitting that Al Habsi kicked the last ball of the game after his man-of-the-match performance yielded the goalless draw between the two clubs and an important point for the relegation-threatened Latics.

Liverpool host Blackburn on Boxing Day while Wigan travel to champions Manchester United.

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