We hadn't lost in our last five to Liverpool, well we can set that straight now. We were annihilated in what was a sloppy second half, by a shocked Wigan side. Whether or not losing Ben Watson to a broken leg affected the team mentally we will never know, but losing his influence was something we couldn't afford to do.
Many people will say the first half was poor, well in terms of forward play and goalscoring chances it was. But that was due to great work by a set of 11 men in blue who were going about the game in the same military like approach we did the Tottenham game. Close them down, get tight to your man and hit them quick on the counter with our attackers.
Were we doing anything wrong? The answer was an outstanding no, we bossed the game when we needed to and kept Liverpool at may, sure they had a few chances, but were any really troubling Ali Al Habsi? I think not. We though couldn't get close to Reina's goal, Liverpool's defense knew they had to hold out as we could defend the whole game like we were.
The bright spark for Wigan, was the man who against West Brom had been below par. Ben Watson, who I am not the biggest fan of sitting in the holding role, was on fire. Winning tackles and making great pass to players in space, a much better Watson performance and the one we needed against these men.
The report on a match, which turned on its head after a freak incident saw Latics lose Ben Watson and with that our momentum and rhythm went, costing us the game. Yet there was one man in the red of Liverpool who also picked up his game. It all changed on the half hour mark. Watson and Sterling both went in for the ball, only on player walked away from what a genuine accident. Since the tackle Sterling has apologized for the injury to Watson, but it was the fault of neither party.
But that incident changed the game. We managed to pull ourselves together for the next 15 minutes, but had neither the pose nor enthusiasm to force anything on the Liverpool goal. That would in the end work in Liverpool's favour.
After a half where we had been the better side (when you look at how the game was played) the second half you felt would be Liverpool's. Sure enough one man managed to spark the red's into life and into winning the game 3-0 in a thirty minute spell of pure dominance.
Now there are key times when you don't want to lose a goal. The start of either half, just after you have scored and in injury time. Yet we failed to hold out Liverpool two minutes into the second half Luis Suarez getting his first of two of the afternoon. Rahaem Sterling leaped on a poor pass by Jean Beausejour, the now England international got past Figureoa before picking out Suarez to score.
Suraez scored again ten minutes later, the pressure on the Wigan box telling, as Enrique slipped a ball right across the Wigan box for the waiting Suraez who tapped it in with relative ease. The Uruguayan was Liverpool's only real threat, his movement to get in on the end of chances is what makes him so good. The players around him don't have to do much but look for him.
However someone else did manage to score for Liverpool, Sterling who's pace meant he could out run any of our back three; blasted a shot straight at Ali Al Habsi. The choice of power over precisions paid off for the winger as it fell to his teammate Enrique to tap home the third, and his first for Liverpool.
With 20 minutes to go could we pull a goal back? No but we did start to wake up a bit more and get on the ball, yet neither of our front two could work a goalscoring chance. Shaun Maloney was back to his best though and looked a lot sharper than he has done in the past two weeks, towards the end he was finding those pockets of space.
If you read around you get the impression that Liverpool battered us to win 3-0. The truth is though they looked below par and thanks to Suraez won the game. It wasn't like the sides of the past with Steven Gerrard running the midfield looking for their main man in Fernando Torres, with a strong back four who you rarely looked like troubling.
Had we stepped up to this game properly we could have walked away with all three points.