Wigan went into the game undefeated in the last five outings against the Merseysiders but on this occasion they were well beaten by a Luis Suarez inspired outfit. The Uruguayan striker scored two goals and it could easily been four as his skill and movement tormented the Latics back line. The controversial striker now leads the goal scoring charts and if he maintains this type of form he will surely finish as the Premier League’s top scorer.
Wigan had comfortably contained Liverpool in the first half and limited them to only a couple of goal scoring opportunities. The away side had their fair share of possession but without creating any serious penetration.
Probably the turning point in the game came towards the end of the first half when Wigan midfielder Ben Watson was carried off with a broken leg after an accidental collision with Raheem Sterling. The injury clearly unsettled Wigan and Watson’s replacement David Jones struggled to make any significant impact.
Early in the second half Liverpool took a critical lead after a mistake by Jean Beausejour. The Chilean’s under hit pass to Maynor Figueroa was intercepted by Sterling who pulled the back for Suarez to score.
The second goal on 58 minutes was the product of some excellent play from the home side as Jose Enrique’s slide rule pass split the Wigan defence and Suarez finished in typically clinical fashion.
The third and final goal on 65 minutes was fortuitous for Liverpool as the linesman had incorrectly given the home side a thrown in the build up. Suarez was again involved as he cleverly exchanged passes with Sterling and the England winger’s shot was only parried by Ali Al Habsi before Enrique followed up to score.
The dark side to Suarez’s game was exposed in the 63rd minute when he stamped on David Jones, but referee Kevin Friend didn’t see the incident, if he had done so, the Uruguayan would surely have been red carded.
Ben Watson’s bad injury had certainly disrupted Wigan’s rhythm but with Suarez in such great form it is unlikely that they would have got anything from the game. Suarez is an exceptional player and very few teams in the world could have stopped him from scoring.
Wigan’s performances following an international break continue to frustrate and Roberto Martinez will be relieved that there are no more international fixtures until March next year.