Wigan 1-1 Liverpool

Premier League
Wednesday 28 January 2009 - 7:45 pm
JJB Stadium
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Liverpool failed to learn the lessons from last week and failed to score the extra goal that would have put this game to bed.  Five draws in seven league games tells it’s own woeful story as the reds put a miserable January to bed and drift in to 3rd place in the Premiership.  The lead at the top of the Premiership has turned in to a 2 point deficit and United have a game in hand.  Liverpool face Chelsea at the weekend, the side who overtook the reds to second place on goal difference.

In what was almost a re-run of last Monday’s game against Everton the reds dominated possession, scored a goal, then gradually defended deeper and deeper.  Benitez, again, replaced Torres with a midfielder and like last week a midfielder giving away a foul led to a late equaliser.  For Yossi last week, read Lucas this week.  Deja vu.

In fact, Liverpool’s support up at the JJB Stadium was almost as grim as the second half back-pedalling.  The ticketing policy at Anfield truly has gone to pot when soulless individuals begin to outweigh Liverpool’s traditionally positive and famous support.

Back to the game and on reading the team sheet eyebrows were raised.  Babel retained his place and Lucas replaced Alonso in midfield.  Yossi stepped in for Kuyt on the right wing.

The reds dominated the first half, restricting Wigan to only one chance on goal.  But despite possession, Liverpool still appear to be having problems up front.  The reds mustered only 2 shots on target, one of them being Yossi’s goal towards the end of the half.

Torres hitting the post was the other decent chance in the half before a Mascherano break cleverly found Yossi who took it wide past the keeper.  It looked like Benayoun would take the ball out of play but he managed to fire a perfectly angled shot which brushed the post on it’s way in to the net.  Liverpool had scored just before half-time and a Gerrard free kick from 35 yards out, 2 minutes in to injury time, narrowly passed over the crossbar.

In the second half the reds passing however got shocking worse.  Mascherano seemed unable to play at pace and stifled a lot of Liverpool moves.  You can picture the reds getting half way in to the opponents half and then running out of ideas.  Passing balls sideways, and sideways until eventually Carragher gets the ball and gives it back to Reina.  Depressing stuff.

Off went Torres and on came Reina.  Babel was expected to move up front but he not only had been playing poorly but I’m convinced he doesn’t have the intellect to follow such instructions.  Either way he seemed to be about 5 seconds behind the play all game, with a first touch abhorrent to Liverpool fans brought up on a feast of great footballers down the years.

With Torres off, and with Wigan correctly using their substitutes by throwing on attackers, Liverpool started to withdraw.

Next off the pitch was Yossi Benayoun, Liverpool’s best player in the game, and Kuyt was sent on.

Nobody was holding the ball up anymore, and eventually the reds got caught out.  A quick break from Wigan and a ball to the left wing saw the reds without a defender on that side.  Lucas managed to get back in time, but a quick move from Jason Koumas outfoxed Leiva who tripped the player in the area.  Mido scored the penalty on his debut.

With 7 minutes left the reds made a quick change to try and rescue the game.

So Benitez took off Gerrard for Keane.  That’s right, Gerrard our inspirational captain, when at least 7 other players should have been taken off instead.

Benitez later said that Gerrard was ‘tired’.  Sorry Rafa, 3 awful substitutions. Three negative substitutions.  And that starting 11 wasn’t our strongest 11 either.  A poor display from the Liverpool manager and a poor display from a lot of multi-million pound players.  Last night’s performance was well below the standard expected at Anfield.

Goals Video

Yossi Benayoun goal

Mido penalty


Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Aurelio, Benayoun (Kuyt 75), Leiva Lucas, Mascherano, Babel, Gerrard (Keane 84), Torres (Riera 72).

Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Alonso.

Goals: Benayoun 41.

Wigan: Pollitt, Melchiot, Boyce, Scharner, Figueroa, De Ridder (Koumas 63), Brown, Cattermole, Taylor (Camara 80), Zaki (Rodallega 77), Mido.

Subs Not Used: Kingson, Edman, Watson, Kapo.

Booked: Figueroa.

Goals: Mido 83 pen.

Att: 21,237

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

8 comments on
Wigan 1-1 Liverpool

  1. Benitez please drop that attitude and accept that your old fashioned tactics aint working. 5 seasons running and you still want to make those annoying substitutions that have never paid off?

  2. We should make forth spot and champions league next season, who knows we might even get third place , surley thats a step in the right direction from recent seasons.
    No I have to go along with what everyone else is saying, Too negative Raffa

  3. How can you get the team do do worse in a game…. yea that´s right, sub the only three players that has an impact on the game….. well done Rafa!!!!!

  4. On paper Liverpool are a powerful team but for some reason they don’t peform that wll on the field!.My gut feeling is that Rafa is too cautious and defensive a coach who never allows the boys to really express themselves.I truely believe that our current team would perform much better if not brilliantly under attack minded coaches like Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger so perhaps it’s not a bad thing that Rafa has yet to sign a contract extention.

    His after match comments are becoming increasingly burdensome when anyone can tell that more then anything it’s his negative tactics that are holding the team back.He leaves out Keane and plays the terrible Lucas infront of Alonso!!!We’ve some of the best players in the world yet can’t beat the likes of Hull,Wigan and Stoke!!!!!…something is seriously wrong!.I for one wouldn’t mind seeing King Kenny back in the Anfield hotseat.

  5. i cannot believe we are not playing the following players in every game. reina,carra,agger/skertel,arbeloa,aurilio,alonso,gerrard,reira,kuyt,keane and torres. i would rather loose a game and win four than to draw five. time we threw caution to the wind and go full on attack.
    please rafa save the mega tactical deffensive stuff for the champions league and let rip in the prem.

  6. Rafa has lost it and he knows it. Tinkering with the team in all the wrong ways recently, blaming the players and starting war of words with the owners and rival managers. One should think he wanted to engineer a rescue route for himself from Anfield Road to San Bernabeu. I have always stood by him, he is indeed a master analyst of the game, but unfortunately he increasingly plays himself out as a mediocre tactician, motivator and psychologist. It will be a daunting task to get the red train back on track. Too tough I`m afraid. And that`ll be the end of Rafa at Lfc.

  7. so the title has gone for another season and anyone who thinks victory on sunday will put us back in the race had better think again beating chelsea will just hand the trophy straight back to utd.can’t wait for 16th may the date of are next victory.(maybe)

  8. Thats our dream of winning the league well and truly scuppered. Same old Liverpool. Control of the game and cruising at one nil, but no killer instinct. That’s 9 draws now, 18 dropped points. Even if you split that figure in half we’d be 9 points better off and running away with it. We have enough talent on the pitch to score plenty of goals but we don’t becuase of the caution with which we play. If that’s not down to the manager then I don’t know what is. This is his 5th season in charge and yet he still hasn’t learned that you can’t defend 1-0 leads in the premier league at home or away. I don’t think we should be shouting for Benitez to be axed, but I think he seriously needs to change his own mentality, because if he doesn’t then we will never win the league because we draw so many games. We could have even afforded to have a lost a few more games if e’d ahve turned some of the draws into wins. I get sick of us bleeting on about clean sheet records and number of games unbeaten and defensive records and losing fewer games than anyone. It doesn’t count for anything without trophies. Nobody remembers those things and they still won’t enable us to hoist the title flag up the mast of the great eastern come may.

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