Sat 29th September 2007 @ The JJB Stadium
Yossi Benayoun came off the bench to score the reds winner and grab three vital points in a hard-earned Premiership victory.
After his mid-week scoring exploits Fernando Torres was handed a Premiership start for the first time in three games, but surprisingly, wasted a number of chances to put the reds clear.
Former Liverpool stopper Chris Kirkland was the first keeper to be tested, in the first minute, Steven Gerrard unleashed a 30 yard stormer to sting the fingers of the Wigan goalie.
The first half was dominated by the reds with Torres missing two clear cut chances – once stopped by the exploits of Kirkland, and firing wide from a great cross when he was in bags of space.
In the second half, Wigan improved, and can count themselves unlucky that a goal was ruled out for offside. Replays suggested this decision was harsh.
Benayoun was an early second half substitute for Aurelio as Benitez looked to increase the attacking options of the side.
After another storming shot from Gerrard, Benayoun crafted a chance for himself and slotted the ball past Kirkland to put the reds ahead.
Wigan pressed hard for the equaliser but the reds left with all three points. This was not a classic Liverpool performance but a valuable three points, and more importantly the reds passing game appears to be returning. The reds remain unbeaten this season.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Aurelio (Benayoun 56), Pennant (Voronin 82), Gerrard, Mascherano, Riise, Torres (Sissoko 89), Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Finnan.
Goals: Benayoun 75.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Kilbane, Scharner (Taylor 82), Skoko, Brown, Koumas, Aghahowa, Bent.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Granqvist, Hall, Olembe.
Booked: Brown, Melchiot.
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).
“When you are trying to find a solution, you need players of creativity and quality, and Yossi gives us that.
“I am not saying he will start every game on the bench, it’s just that in this instance I wanted to do different things.
“Yossi played the other night (in the Carling Cup against Reading) and I needed fresh legs, so I started with (Jermaine) Pennant.
“We created some chances and you need to take them if you want an open game.
“Because we didn’t we needed to bring on players with different skills and Yossi was good, it was perfect.”