Liverpool 1-1 Wigan Athletic

FA Premiership
Tue 2nd January 2008 @ 7:45pm

At this rate Liverpool will hope to play every single remaining game away from home. Liverpool drew again, dropping another 2 points compared with the rest of the top three and it now looks like it will be a chase with Man City to finish 4th, and not a chase to win the title.

Wigan, threatened with relegation, equalised thanks to a Titus Bramble wonder-strike in the 80th minute after Liverpool’s one man up-front, Fernando Torres, had scored his 16th goal of the season just after half time.

Quite why Benitez opted to play one striker is known only to him. It’s questionable if any member of the Anfield crowd would have opted to play just one striker against a team who clearly would have set their stall out to defend. But what do we know?

Let’s leave Benitez out of the equation for the moment – there is no question that the media will have him roasted tomorrow in the papers anyway.

Liverpool’s woeful finishing and a couple of decent saves from Chris Kirkland prevented the reds adding to Torres goal and when Bramble equalised, well it just felt like the title dream was just that – a dream. Another season drifting away and here we are in January.

The players that were selected should have pummelled Wigan to within an inch of their life. Playing with one striker was a mistake. Benitez attributed the merits of the rotation system as the players being fresh towards the end of their season. The international sides in Euro 2008 will be pleased. Unfortunately it doesn’t like it will help Liverpool one bit.

Post Match Reaction

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on his team’s title prospects:

“We need to do almost everything perfect now but if you lose points like this it makes it more difficult.

“When you have chances you need to take them and finish the game.

“Now we need to think about the FA Cup against Luton, you cannot look at the whole season it is too long.”

Wigan boss Steve Bruce:

“It gives everyone a huge lift. We were really disciplined and stuck to the game plan well.

“I have always liked Titus, he just needs a bit of confidence and he will only get better.

“It is always going to be difficult at Liverpool as they have world class players but for the last six weeks we have produced some good performances.”

Team News

Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Carragher, Aurelio, Pennant (Kuyt 86), Alonso, Mascherano (Crouch 84), Kewell (Benayoun 74), Gerrard, Torres.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Riise.

Booked: Mascherano, Torres.

Goals: Torres 49.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Kilbane, Valencia, Landzaat, Brown, Taylor (Koumas 79), Heskey (Sibierski 84), Bent.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Boyce, Olembe.

Booked: Scharner.

Goals: Bramble 80.

Att: 42,308

Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).

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4 comments on
Liverpool 1-1 Wigan Athletic

  1. I like RB as a person, but as a manager is questionable, I beleave his rotation system is the main contributor to the lack of consistency, we all know that to be sussessful u need a good
    squad, however the team (your best 11)needs time to blend together: 1,2 or a max of 3 changers would be understanable but
    RB goes for half-a-team, this can only be detrimental to the squad, (instead of a minor nip/tuck operation with a “local”
    anaesthetic RB goes for a bloody heart transplant with a general anaesthetic. This talk about “fresh legs” is a-load of rubbish,-as a young lad I played SAT & SUN in mud up to my knees
    then whent to work from MON TO FRI. What good is “fresh legs” when your not even in the race !!.
    nb -: when the REDS loose,”frustration” has replaced “dissapointment”.

  2. Why does,nt he play Crouch with Torres?? His goalscoring exploits are not just confined to his head,he holds the ball up well and brings others into play and Gerrard feeds off of him.At least he has the attributes to trouble defences which cannot be said of the limited abilities of one or two of the alternatives.What was the point of giving Crouch 6 minutes when it was too late,which seems to be coming a bit of a habit with Rafa.Come on Rafa be big enough to admit your mistakes before it,s too late,change your strategy.

  3. Well, i am gutted. But is benitez really to blame? The team played great passes. The Team had chances. Mascherano, Gerrard, Torres, Kewell. BUT DID NOT TAKE THEIR CHANCES. Finnans delivery into the box was pathetic. The reds just dont have the mental strenghth to win the title. if you gave united the sniff of a chance, they will kill you. why were they playing and toying around with a team close to relegation? The coach set up his team, the team had chances, but didnt take them. Thats the end of the story. Cup runs only for the reds.

  4. Another under performance at home, when is Rafa going to play to our strenghts and forget about rotating his players and play our best team at all times, providing they are fit. It’s no use having the fittest team at the end of the season, if your already out oe everything

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