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Home

Barclays Premier League, Wednesday 21st December 2011, DW Stadium, 20:00pm

Wigan Athletic 0-0 Liverpool FC

Referee:  Michael Oliver   H-T: 0-0   Att: 19,230

Match Report

Liverpool had to settle for a point after being held to a goalless draw by Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Wednesday night.

After an open first half, in which both sides had their goalkeepers to thank for keeping the score level, the Reds were awarded a penalty five minutes into the second period after Gary Caldwell handelled an effort from Luis Suarez.

However, Charlie Adam's low effort from 12 yards was saved by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.

Liverpool continued to press in search of a winner, but they were ultimately to be left frustrated by an inspired display from Wigan's custodian.

Having watched his side win so comfortably at Aston Villa on Sunday, Kenny Dalglish opted to make just two changes to his starting line up for the short journey to Wigan - Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt replacing Craig Bellamy and Jonjo Shelvey.

Liverpool have been highly impressive on the road so far this term, and that victory at Villa Park was their fifth in eight contests away from Anfield in the Barclays Premier League. With that in mind, Dalglish would have no doubt have called on his players to pick up where they left off.

A spirited display helped Wigan hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium last time out , but the Reds quickly set about taking the game to their hosts.

Adam smashed an early free-kick into a Wigan wall before good build-up play presented Jordan Henderson with the chance to test Al Habsi from just inside the area.

Then, Martin Skrtel showed nimble footwork to create a shooting opportunity, but the Latics' stopper was able to block the left-foot drive.

Wigan's first opportunity came after 12 minutes when a goalmouth melee resulted in Jordi Gomez's close-range hit being blocked by Pepe Reina - though play had already been halted by referee Michael Oliver, who was to wave away penalty appeals from Victor Moses soon after.

Back came Liverpool and Maxi's first-time volley from Suarez's intelligent centre cleared the crossbar prior to Mohamed Diame striking the side netting with a swerving blast from distance.

Then, on 25 minutes, a one-two between Maxi and Downing resulted in the latter delivering a cross from the touchline which was hooked goalwards by Kuyt, only for Al Habsi to produce a fine block.

Wigan again had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the contest seconds later when he produced a sprawling save to thwart Glen Johnson inside the six-yard box from Maxi's cross.

In what was proving to be an end-to-end affair, Reina was required to display his quick reflexes to keep out another Diame attempt.

Moses then had the home fans on their feet after a surging run from half-way allowed the No.11 the chance to shoot, but his blast was met by the fists of Reina who punched the ball to safety.

Wigan certainly finished the opening 45 minutes strongly, and only a last-ditch tackle from Glen Johnson prevented Conor Sammon from getting a clear shot on Reina's goal to ensure the teams went into the break on level terms.

Liverpool almost made the dream start to the second half, but were twice left frustrated by the acrobatics of Al Habsi.

First, the Wigan custodian tipped a Suarez free-kick over the bar before he went one better moments later when Gary Caldwell handled the Uruguayn's overhead kick, presenting the Reds with a penalty.

Adam assumed responsibility, but his kick was repelled by a save at full stretch from Al Habsi.

The Latics' No.26 was enjoying an inspired evening between the sticks, though he wasn't required to intervene when Skrtel headed over Liverpool's next attempt from an Enrique centre.

Next, a well-worked free-kick routine saw Adam clip a ball into the area to pick out the run of Kuyt, but the Dutchman could only hook his attempt off target.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Dalglish introduced Bellamy and Shelvey into the fray to replace Maxi and Kuyt in an attempt to inject fresh impetus into his side.

But Wigan remained resolute in defence and spurned a good chance to their own to clinch all three points when substitute Hugo Rodallega headed against Johnson when well placed to score.


Team Line-Up's
Wigan Athletic Liverpool
Ali Al Hasbi Pepe Reina
Antolin Alcaraz  Glen Johnson
James McCarthy Martin Skrtel
Gary Caldwell  Daniel Agger
Victor Moses Jose Enrique
Jordi Gomez Stewart Downing
Conor Sammon Charlie Adam
David Jones Jordan Henderson
Mohamed Diame Maxi Rodriguez
Ronnie Stam Dirk Kuyt
Maynor Figueroa Luis Suarez
Substitutes Substitutes
Mike Pollitt Alexander Doni
Albert Crusat Andy Carroll
Ben Watson Sebastian Coates
Franco Di Santo Jamie Carragher
James McArthur Martin Kelly
Hugo Rodallega Jonjo Shelvey
Adrian Lopez  Craig Bellamy
Substitutions
Franco Di Santo for Conor Sammon 62'
Craig Bellamy for Maxi Rodriguez 72'
Jonjo Shelvey for Dirk Kuyt 72'
Ben Watson for Ben Jones 73'
Hugo Rodallega for Jordi Gomez 73'
Andy Carroll for Luis Suarez 87'
Goals
 
Yellow Cards
Garry Caldwell 66' Glen Johnson 79'
Craig Bellamy 90'
Red Cards
Referee
Michael Oliver
Attendance
19,230
LFC Player Ratings
Pepe Reina
7/10
Glen Johnson
6/10
Martin Skrtel
8/10
Daniel Agger
7/10
Jose Enrique
7/10
Stewart Downing
6/10
Charlie Adam
5/10
Jordan Henderson
7/10
Maxi Rodriguez
6/10
Dirk Kuyt
6/10
Luis Suarez
7/10
Substitutes
Alexander Doni
DNP
Andy Carroll
5/10
Sebastian Coates
DNP
Jamie Carragher
DNP
Jonjo Shelvey
6/10
Craig Bellamy
6/10
Martin Kelly
DNP
Referee
Michael Oliver
8/10

Match Stats

Wigan Athletic   Liverpool
44% Possession 59%
100 Shots On 10
5 Shots Off 8
7 Corners 14
16 Fouls 12
1 Yellow 2
0 Red 0


Head to Head - Wigan Athletic