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Premier League

  • December 21, 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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Reds week got worse when Charlie Adam failed to convert a 50th minute penalty, leading to a nil-all draw and shared points between two clubs at opposite ends of the league table

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

Reds forward Luis Suarez started the match after recently being punished with an eight-match ban for racial abuse of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October.

However, Suarez, nor any other of the 28 fielded players were able to break equilibrium in a sloppy, open match at the DW stadium.

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

Liverpool continued to control possession in Lancashire, but their play inside the final third wasn't condusive to any opening tally.

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

Based on the Honduran's precedent, teammates Mohamed Diame and Vitor Moses each drove long-range shots in the following minutes, but they fizzed wide and over.

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

The match was wide-open and both sides were counter-attacking with aplomb. 

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 due to break the deadlock before the halftime 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 Gary Caldwell's outstretched arm.

Charlie Adam stepped up for the penalty, but Al-Hamsi 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 forrays into the Wigan box were unfruitful, as were the Latics occasionally shots from range.

Both goalies were forced into saves after 60 minutes, but each was more or less routine for the resident stopper.

Latics manager Roberto Martinez introduced cult hero Franco di Santo for Connor Sammon with the hope to snatch a late goal and plunder all three points.

Reds boss Kenny Dalgish rung in the changes himself after a further ten 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.

It seemed inevitable the first goal would also be the last, thereby claiming all three points for the fortunate team.

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

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

It was fitting Al Habsi punted the last ball of the game after a man-of-the-match performance yielded the 0-0 draw between the two clubs and an important point for the relegation-threatend Latics.

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

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