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March 24, 2012
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 44431
L. Suárez 48'
S. Maloney 30'
G. Caldwell 63'
90' + 6'
FULL-TIME And there it is. Wigan consign Liverpool to their fifth defeat in six games. How crucial will those points prove for the Latics as they look to avoid relegation?
90' + 5'
Jay Spearing punts the ball long but Carroll again fails to make contact. The whistle could well go any second.
90' + 4'
Sterling is hacked down at the edge of the box but Suarez can't find Carroll from the free-kick.
90' + 3'
Liverpool not looking likely to break this Wigan defence who have repelled the Reds' threat bravely all day.
Enrique drives brilliantly past a number of defenders into the box but pulls the ball back only to see nobody on the end of it.
A Carroll flick on then finds Suarez but Al-Habsi is equal to his left-footed shot and Wigan looking capable of holding onto this result.
Suarez releases Sterling again and the youngster gets a great cross away on his weaker foot. Unfortunately for the hosts nobody in red is there to meet it and it is nodded away.
Sterling almost makes a name for himself straight away! He jinks past two defenders before finding Skrtel in the box but the centre-back doesn't react quickly enough and can only win a corner.
Suarez's free-kick is straight into the wall and the subsequent cross from Gerrard is woeful and straight into the crowd. A touch of hope coming from the sidelines however, as Raheem Sterling replaces Dirk Kuyt. He becomes Liverpool's 3rd youngest player of all-time.
Suarez tries to play Gerrard through in the area but as the ball bounces back to him the Uruguayan is fouled. Promising position.
Franco Di Santo
Liverpool get the opportunity to put the ball in the box from the right hand side but it is repelled easily by Watson.
Suarez and Carroll attempt to link up but fail miserably. Indicative of the abject nature of Liverpool's performance today in the face of Wigan's desire.
As things stand, Liverpool heading for their fifth defeat in six Premier League games. Can anyone salvage a result?
Steven Gerrard breaks forward promisingly but he fails to find Enrique's run into the box. More frustration for Liverpool.
A substitution for Liverpool now as they look to turn things around. Stewart Downing is withdrawn for Jonjo Shelvey.
The game has descended into a cagey affair now and this will suit the visitors down to the ground.
Liverpool just cannot keep the ball. Several punts forward have landed straight at the feet of the Wigan defence.
Wigan knocking the ball around confidently now. They don't look like crafting more chances yet, but it is doubtful they care.
That goal is no more than Wigan deserved. Since Suarez's disallowed second the Latics have absolutely dominated.
Goal Gary Caldwell
GOAL! Incredible. Wigan lead again as a shot from the edge of the box takes several deflections before Caldwell coolly cuts inside and rolls it under Pepe Reina.
Jean Beausejour, who has done his fair share of defensive work today, is replaced by Ben Watson.
And Maynor Figueroa tries to make that spell even sweeter but his ambitious drive from distance goes well wide.
Wigan enjoying a spell of possession now. This is exactly the kind of game they need to play now to take the sting out of Liverpool's ascendency.
You get the feeling that Liverpool need to capitalise on this dominance soon. Their draw record at Anfield is well documented and the chances have tended to dry up in games.
Mason should take great credit for spotting what was in fact a handball on the line by Suarez. The game still poised.
Yellow Card Luis Suárez
Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
DISALLOWED GOAL! Unbelievable scenes as Lee Mason rules a Liverpool goal out a minute into the celebrations. Carroll got up to nod the ball back across goal and it appears that Suarez has been reprimanded for a push on the line (or perhaps use of the arm).
Sam Bisby from Anfield: "Brilliance from Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez as the duo combine to devastating effect to get Liverpool well and truly back in this game. The captain holding up the ball whilst the striker dashed into the box caught Wigan off-guard and the Uruguay international’s snap-shot from his skipper’s assist was executed perfectly."
Well, whatever Dalglish did say to his players at half-time, it seemingly worked and they are pressuring Wigan brilliantly now.
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL! Luis Suarez side-foots Gerrard's ball across the six-yard box home. Wigan surrendered possession poorly just a matter of yards from the edge of their own area and paid the price as the Reds skipper took his time in picking out his colleague who couldn't miss.
Back under way at Anfield.
A change made by Kenny Dalglish at half-time as Jordan Henderson is replaced by Andy Carroll.
45' + 5'
Sam Bisby from Anfield: "Not going Liverpool’s way so far, with Wigan restricting their attacks through some stubborn defending. The Reds haven’t helped themselves with a poor passing display which has made the visitors’ job a lot easier. The Latics at one point were running rings around the hosts though and, as Dalglish’s men tried to regain possession."
45' + 4'
HALF-TIME. Wigan fully deserving their lead at Anfield following a turgid performance from the hosts. Can Roberto Martinez's side grab a crucial three points in the relegation fight?
45' + 4'
Another quick exchange at the edge of the area proves fruitful for Liverpool. Suarez again with the flick to Gerrard but the Reds skipper can't beat a determined Al-Habsi.
45' + 2'
Anfield deathly quiet now. What can Kenny Dalglish do to change this?
Di Santo nicks possession well dropping into midfield and, after Carragher lunges to win the ball, he surrenders it straight back to the Latics.
Yellow Card Franco Di Santo
Downing cuts across the Wigan defence from the right but fails to get his shot beyond a desperate block from Alcaraz.
And Victor Moses is unable to continue, the forward being replaced by Albert Crusat.
Gerrard's cross-cum-shot then forces Al-Habsi to punch again. Pressure building here.
Almost a reply from Liverpool and it, unsurprisingly, comes from nothing. Luis Suarez slips whilst trying to control at the edge of the box but rises to bring a brilliant save from Al-Habsi.
A free-kick awarded to the hosts by referee Lee Mason is sarcastically cheered by the home supporters. The officials are perhaps the least of the hosts' worries though.
In contrast, Wigan are passing the ball well and frustrating the Reds.
So wasfteful from the hosts. Several passes going awry and Wigan looking more than comfortable with their lead.
Henderson gets the ball at the edge of the box but wastes an instant opportunity to reply by failing to get the shot away on his left foot.
Assist Victor Moses
Penalty Goal Shaun Maloney
And it's a goal! A brilliantly taken penalty into the left hand bottom corner. Reina went the right way but he had absolutely no chance.
Moses is back after a lengthy spell of treatment and it's Shaun Maloney to take....
Wigan loft the ball into the box and, after Carragher's attempted clearance, Skrtel kicks out as Moses attempts to head and catches the winger. The referee points straight to the spot and the visitors could take a shock lead here.
PENALTY TO WIGAN
So close! A wonderful exchange between Suarez and Downing sees the England winger half-volley across goal.
James McCarthy catches Gerrard with a high boot. Free-kick to Liverpool which is subsequently wasted.
Liverpool passing it around brightly but no sign of the cutting-edge they'll need to break down Roberto Martinez's men.
Suarez breaks into space but is stopped brilliantly by Alcaraz before the Uruguayan forward miscues a pass to Gerrard.
Flanagan makes a crunching tackle on Beausejour as he attempts to cross from the left.
Kenny Dalglish's side absolutely dominating the ball here but showing little invention in the face of Wigan's deep defensive line.
A long pass from Flanagan is chased by Gerrard and the Liverpool midfielder wins a throw-in.
The visitors have a bit more of the ball at the edge of the box but they can't get through a stubborn Liverpool back line.
Almost a chance for Wigan as Moses jinks past Enrique but has his shot blocked well by Skrtel. The Spanish full-back claims that the Latics winger used his arm to control that but nothing given.
Liverpool break through Suarez's wonderful flick to Gerrard but the Reds skipper can't get his pass away and Downing has to slide to prevent a goal kick.
The subsequent corner comes to nothing from a poor delivery to the front post.
A wonderful delivery from Gerrard but Skrtel can't make contact and Boyce nods away.
Liverpool looking particularly keen to consign that QPR defeat to memory and Suarez has bought a free-kick in a dangerous position at the edge of the box.
Some great interchange work from Liverpool but the move again stops with Downing as he fails to beat his man one-on-one.
Stewart Downing gets the ball out wide but his ball to the onrushing Jon Flanagan is woeful and goes straight out of play.
A busy opening as both sides show encouraging attacking intent.
Jon Flanagan involved early on as he gets the ball down the right before Jordan Henderson has a shout for Gary Caldwell's handball in the box waved away.
Liverpool get the game under way.
Wigan, meanwhile, are unchanged from the side which missed a host of chances in a 1-1 draw with West Brom. If they can replicate that performance they might well fancy their chances of outscoring a Reds side who have so often been profligate at home.
Liverpool make two changes from the side which so disastrously lost to QPR in mid-week as Jon Flanagan and Jordan Henderson replace injured pair Martin Kelly and Charlie Adam.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Moses, Maloney, Di Santo. Subs: Kirkland, Thomas, Crusat, Ben Watson, Gomez, Sammon, Stam.
Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Gerrard, Spearing, Downing, Kuyt, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Aurelio, Carroll, Coates, Sterling, Shelvey, Eccleston.
Welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Wigan at Anfield.
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