Nando goes for goal – Photo from fOTOGLIF
Fernando Torres celebrated his 100th appearance with another Liverpool goal to ensure the reds got a deserved 3 points against Wigan at Anfield.
The reds could, and probably should have had more, in a game that despite dominating they still leaked an injury time goal.
But the reds two goal cushion ensured they could ride out the final couple of minutes to take 3 points and move to within 5 points of 3rd place in the Premier League.
The night began with a mosaic in honour of Bill Shankly. Today’s game was the closest to the 50th anniversary of Shanks first game in charge – ironically a 4-0 defeat.
Benitez opted to start with a 4-4-2 formation with N’gog and Kuyt leading the line. Torres had suffered some ill effects from his first full game on Sunday and was elected to start from the bench.
With the reds playing 4-4-2, Gerrard partnered Mascherano in the centre – with Lucas and Aquilani both starting from the bench. Aurelio was handed a left wing berth, with Yossi Benayoun preferred on the right wing.
Straight from the outset the reds set the tone for the evening and could have been ahead before Fabio Aurelio’s cross connected with N’gog’s head to fire the reds in front. A few goalline scrambles occurred, but the reds just couldn’t grab the second.
Despite Liverpool’s chances, Gerrard had a quiet game and Liverpool’s softer centre failed to dominate midfield in the manner that Lucas and Mascherano usually do.
Early in the second half Liverpool reverted to 4-5-1 as Ngog, Benayoun and Aurelio were replaced by Torres, Aquilani and Leiva.
Torres latched on to a through ball, and despite a first weak shot being stopped by a defender on the line he eventually put the ball in the net.
A lapse in defending, all too common recently, saw N’Zogbia grab one back for Wigan. But it was too little too late and the reds get the points.
Post Match Comments
“It was very important to win and get the three points. There were a lot of positives. We knew that we had to win and it doesn’t matter about whether we could score more goals. Maybe we could have been more relaxed in the second-half but at end of the day three points was the key.
“It was important for everyone to get the three points. We can now relax and be ready for the next game. We will think about one game at a time and we will now look towards Portsmouth.
“We have spoken about winning games in a row. We have now won one and must look to the next game. We want the chance to talk about winning three games in a row, but first we must win the second one.
“In a top side it is always difficult because normally you have to win trophies. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and people talk about having to win. It is normal. I’d rather that than just looking to survive.”
Liverpool: Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Insua, Carragher, Mascherano, Gerrard, Aurelio (Leiva 61), Benayoun (Aquilani 81), Ngog (Torres 64), Kuyt
Unused subs: Cavalieri, Darby, Kyrgiakos, Dossena
Yellow Cards: Mascherano 77
Goals: Ngog 9′, Torres 79′
Wigan: Kirkland, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Melchiot, Thomas, Diame (Scotland 59), Scharner, N’Zogbia, Gomez (Koumas 83), Rodallega
Unused subs: Kingson, Amaya, De Ridder, Sinclair, Cho
Goals: N’Zogbia 91′
Our man of the match
He’s making a habit of picking up this award now. Javier Mascherano