Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gritty Wigan Stop Reds Wagon

Liverpool's victorious run in the Premier League came to an end as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Wednesday night. After their impressive win over defending champions Chelsea last Sunday, hopes were high for Roy 's team and the match seemed to be headed the predictable way when Fernando Torres gave the visitors the lead as early as the 7th minute of the match. The Spanish striker scored his fifth goal of the season after latching on to an excellent through pass from Steven Gerrard and slotting it home comfortably past the Latics custodian. However, Liverpool went into their shell after scoring the opener as the midfield kept sitting deep and tried to release the strikers with counter- attacking moves. That allowed the Wigan players more space and time and players like Charles N'Zogbia began to gradually get into the game. Wigan were finally rewarded for their sustained pressure as Hugo Rodallega brought the hosts level in the 52nd minute. A marvellous cross from Stam on the right could only be parried by the Liverpool goalkeeper and the ball fell to Rodallega who made no mistake with his shot. Reina had a busy night as he had to make quite a few saves to keep Liverpool in the game. Captain Steven Gerrard almost got a winner for the visitors in the 79th minute after running on to a great pass from Maxi Rodriguez but his shot rebounded off the woodwork. Reina was called into action once again towards the end as he denied N 'Zogbia a late winner. Although the game stretched out in the latter stages, both teams failed to capitalise on their chances and the match ended a 1-1 draw with the hosts probably shading it on performance. Liverpool remain ninth in the table with 16 points from 12 matches. They face Stoke City in their next league match and the fans will be hoping that Roy Hodgson manages to adopt a more attacking approach against the 'weaker' teams. His substitutions tonight certainly raised a few eyebrows, especially when he brought on Christian Poulsen in place of Dirk Kuyt with twenty odd minutes to go given the fact that both Milan Jovanovic and David Ngog were available on the bench. Maybe, the Liverpool manager needs to be more positive in the future because dropping points against teams like Wigan is a strict no-no at clubs vying for a Champions League spot.

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